WITH 11 of the 12 senators who won in the 2019 midterm elections having submitted their reports on campaign expenses and contributions before the June 13 deadline, the top spender turned out to be former presidential special assistant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go who spent over P161 million on his campaign.

The 11 recently proclaimed senators who submitted their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Campaign Finance Office are: Cynthia A. Villar, Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go, Pilar Juliana “Pia” S. Cayetano, Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara, Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos, Francis N. Tolentino, Aquilino Martin “Koko” D. Pimentel III, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., and Maria Lourdes “Nancy” S. Binay

Only actor and re-electionist Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid has not submitted his SOCE.

The Comelec said winning candidates do not have to submit their SOCEs before the June 13 deadline (both winning and losing candidates have to submit the report) as they can submit their SOCEs within six months after the elections. However, winning candidates are not permitted to sit in office until they have submitted their reports.

Out of all the elected senators, Mr. Go’s SOCE showed he had the most campaign expenditures, spending P161,418,299.31. Total campaign contributions were P162,035,537.34. He spent only P415,500 of his own money for his campaign.

Mr. Tolentino was the second biggest spender with P159,169,836.54. He received P112,900,000 in contributions.

According to the SOCEs seen by BusinessWorld, senators Villar and Marcos spent only their own money in their campaigns, not having received any contributions and donations. Ms. Villar spent P135,529,061.09 while Ms. Marcos spent P132,146,754.55.

Unlike Ms. Marcos and Ms. Villar, Ms. Llamanzares-Poe used only contributions from other sources for her election campaign, expenses of which totaled P156,433,463.80. She spent no personal funds and resources according to her SOCE. Ms. Binay also used contributions to fuel her senatorial bid, spending only P59,470,000.

Ms. Revilla’s election expenditures came to P121,952,358.93. He received contributions from his political party, Lakas CMD, and other sources, which amounted to P115,575,235.21. Only Mr. Revilla received contributions from his political party unlike the other senators who did not report receiving anything from their own parties.

Meanwhile, Mr. Angara spent P153,341,072.84; Mr. De la Rosa spent P92,701,416.79; Mr. Pimentel spent P79,525,818.90; and Ms. Cayetano spent P73,714,198.55. — Gillian M. Cortez