On May 30, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia challenged artists who endorsed politicians to reveal how much they got paid during the 2022 elections.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo, Garcia urged local celebrities to disclose payments they got from the candidates they were supporting.
“It takes two to tango. We respectfully request the artists to at least give us the total picture, the complete picture of what was really spent by the candidate, so that we can compare.”
Garcia then reminded the candidates in the 2022 elections regarding the deadline of their statement of contribution and expenditures (SOCE) on June 8.
“Pinapaalala natin, whether nag-withdraw o natuloy, whether natalo o nanalo, sila po lahat ay magfa-file ng kanilang SOCE.
“Hindi po kami mage-extend beyond June 8.”
Candidates who fail to submit their SOCE would face charges and a fine. According to Garcia, failure to file for a second time may subject the candidates to perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Garcia added that 500 candidates in previous elections face possible perpetual disqualification to hold public office.
Several artists refuted claims of receiving payment for showing their support to local candidates.
Toni Gonzaga, who hosted several UniTeam campaign rallies and expressed support for President-Elect Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos Jr., addressed rumors about her receiving Php 120M for her hosting gig.
“Simula po nung tumapak ako sa entablado kasama ng UniTeam, sabi nila bayad daw po ako. Bayad po ba kayo? Katulad ni BBM, huwag na po nating patulan.”
Seasoned actress Elizabeth Oropesa taunted critics that she would have her legs cut off if she received payment for expressing her support to President-Elect BBM.
“Ipapaputol ko ‘yung dalawa kong paa. Gagapang na lang ako kung binabayaran kaming mga artista kay BBM.”
Showbiz reporter Ogie Diaz, who supported outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo, also addressed rumors about artists getting paid for attending the Kiko-Leni political rallies.
“Di naman masyadong true ito. Hehehe.
Saka hindi naman lahat ng celebrities, nagpapabayad o pera-pera lang.
“Me mga celebrities, pro bono o libre lang basta kaibigan o kamag-anak nila yung kandidato o kahit hindi nila kaanu-ano, basta naniniwala sila sa ipinaglalaban nito, hindi pinag-uusapan ang magkano.”