Foreign Donations Not Allowed Says Comelec Over Robredo’s Fundraising Online

The Commission on Election (Comelec) has warned 2022 poll candidates that foreign donations are not allowed following Leni Robredo’s fundraising online.

Accepting political payments from foreigners may result in disqualification if proven guilty, according to the Comelec. “Foreigners cannot contribute to any Filipino candidate,” according to Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.

The warning was issued following a news story from ABS-CBN News regarding a crowdfunding page set up for Vice President Leni Robredo’s presidential candidacy. Supporters can donate anywhere from P50 to P20,000 on the crowdfunding page.

Leni Fundraising

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According to the Omnibus Election Code, contributions from foreigners and foreign corporations are among the forbidden sources of campaign money. Candidates are also prohibited from taking election-related financial contributions from foreign governments and their agents, according to the Constitution.

James Jimenez, a spokesperson for the Comelec, also cautions candidates to be cautious when collecting money. According to him, candidates for the 2022 election must record all money received, and if they are caught accepting donations from prohibited sources, “they could be facing an electoral offense charge which could result in disqualification.”

The campaign time for presidential, vice presidential, senatorial, and party-list candidates was set from February 8 to May 7, 2022, by the Comelec. A person who submits his candidacy is only regarded a “candidate” at the commencement of the campaign season, according to the contentious 2009 Supreme Court judgment known as the Penera doctrine.

Meanwhile, the crowdfunding campaign was described as a “volunteer initiative” by Robredo’s spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez. The vice president is not actively involved in the fundraising, according to the spokesman.

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