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Karmina Constantino slams Jose Montemayor after insinuating Isko Moreno paid ANC: 'This journalist has never been—or ever will be—paid by anyone'

By AYIE LICSI Published Mar 01, 2022 5:51 pm Updated Mar 01, 2022 6:16 pm

Though since fact-checked as false, presidential candidate Jose Montemayor Jr. doubled down today in his assertion during the CNN Philippines Presidential Debate that Bill Gates donated "$15 million" to Manila mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso. This time, Montemayor hinted at an amomaly regarding the amount involving toilets, a claim that was quickly flushed down yet again.

During the CNN Philippines Presidential Debate, Domagoso was answering a question about his stance on excess campaign funds, when Montemayor interjected with the question: “Eh paano naman po yung 15 million dollars ni Bill Gates, isosoli niyo po ba iyon?”

In a previous interview with Jessica Soho, Moreno admitted to keeping P50 million in excess campaign funds from his failed 2016 Senate run. As the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism reported, the presidential candidate asserts he paid P9.7 million in taxes for this. He also showed his BIR receipts during the Feb. 27 debate.

This company is not in the business of getting paid.

Montemayor maintained that his claim about the donation of Bill Gates was “all over the papers,” even as Domagoso denied again such a claim.

Montemayor was again questioned about his statement during an interview with ANC's In Focus on March 1, where this time, he claimed having "sources" proving the Microsoft co-founder donated to Moreno's campaign.

After ANC host Karmina Constantino asked where he got the information, Montemayor replied: "Well, my sources, I will not reveal at this point unless there is a court order."

The show's host Karmina Constantino then asked Montemayor which is which: “Doctor Montemayor you said that it was all over the papers, but now you are telling us that sources have told you about this. Which one should we believe?”

Fake news

Montemayor said this was the "opinion of the media" and later insinuated Moreno of paying news outlets without citing evidence. 

"Well, if you would just research, especially if you're in the media, you should have known better, unless Isko Moreno paid ANC and ABS-CBN," he accused.

Constantino then took exception to this statement: "I'm sorry, I'm not going to let that pass. Doctor Montemayor we are not in the business of getting paid. I am personally insulted by that insinuation. We can go on with this interview, we can leave this topic aside and move on, but let me tell you, this is not an insinuation that I will take lightly."

"This company is not in the business of getting paid. This journalist has never been—or ever will be—paid by anyone to ask or not to ask questions," she answered.

The exchange was followed up with the question "What kind of leader will you be if you believe in fake news?"

Clips of the ANC interview have now been shared on Twitter, with anchor "Karmina Constantino" now trending with 3,000 tweets to date.

The Philippine STAR reporter Marc Jayson Cayabyab was one of the first to share a snippet of the exchange, along with a fact-check of Montemayor's claim.