Sonny Dominguez denies paying money to Cambridge Analytica to boost Duterte campaign
Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez denied giving money or tapping the services of Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL)-Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 presidential campaign of Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, Malacanang said: “The Secretary of Finance, in his capacity as treasurer of the PRRD campaign, assures [the public] that he did not pay anything to Cambridge Analytica nor did he transact with them.”
Malacanang issued the denial after the South China Morning Post reported the meeting between Duterte allies Rey Faizal Ponce “Taipan” Millan, Peter La Viña, Pompee La Viña, and Joel Sy Egco and SCL-Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix in Manila a year before the elections. Millan is a founder of director of Istratehiya Inc.. SCL-Cambridge Analytica’s partner in the Philippines.
Former Senator Kit Tatad said it was obvious that Duterte’s campaign team received a big boost form SCL-Cambridge Analytica’s cutting edge election campaign technology using illegally harvested private date from 87 million Facebook users including more than a million Filipinos.
“The only problem though is that the service was provided by a foreign supplier, who had no legal right whatsoever to participate in our elections. And it must have come at a great price, which was never reported as part of the expenses of the DU30 campaign. In other words, this otherwise remarkable legal innovation was accessed in violation of our election laws. This violation now threatens the validity of DU30’s otherwise uncontested election,” said Tatad.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said: “Support for the former Davao City mayor was from all sectors and not just from Facebook or online; thus the Duterte campaign did not have to purchase information.” said Roque.