American billionaire Bill Gateswho is also among the richest people in the world, suddenly trended on Twitter Philippines on Sunday, February 27.
Jose Montemayor Jr. a cardiologist and a presidential candidate, mentioned Gates’ name in one of his responses during the CNN Philippinespresidential debate.
The presidential debate took place at University of Santo Tomas-Quadricentenary pavilion. It was hosted by Pinky Webb and Pia Hontiveros.
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At the time of writing, the name “Bill Gates” has garnered over 35,000 tweets.
Gates’ name was trending on Twitter Philippines along with the names of other presidential candidates.
Why is Bill Gates trending?
During the event, presidential bets were asked to raise their hands if they are in favor of returning excess donations from their political campaigns.
Eight of them raised their hands:
- Ernesto Abella
- Labor leader Leody De Guzman
- Norberto Gonzales
- Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson
- Faycal Mangondato
- Jose Montemayor Jr.
- Senator Manny Pacquiao
- Vice President Leni Robredo
Only Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso had a different stance on the issue.
Explaining his position, Moreno said he had to “be fair” after he himself did not return donations he received for his own Senate campaign in 2016.
“I have to be fair with the Filipino people. Hindi ako nagsoli ng binigay sa akin na tulong sa kampanya na sobra, pero tinupad ko ang aking tungkulin as mamayan na magbayad ng buwis”, he mentioned.
“That’s why wala akong the moral ascendancy to respond favorably to the question,” he added.
The city’s chief executive was talking about the 50.8 million pesos of campaign funds left over when he failed in the Senate in 2016.
During Jessica Soho’s presidential talks last month, Moreno admitted that he had kept those excess funds ever since.
After standard-bearer Aksyon Demokratiko’s statement, Montemayor asked the moderators to speak to his rival.
The doctor suddenly asked about the donations received by Moreno. He did, however, claim that Gates was the one who sent those funds to the mayor.
“Eh paano naman po yung $50 million na binigay ni bill gates, isosoli niyo po ba yun? $15 million that was given to Mayor Isko as I read in the papers,” Montemayor mentioned.
Moreno immediately denied this claim. To prove this, he showed a copy of his tax receipt from the Bureau of Internal Revenue as evidence.
He also noted that receiving foreign campaign funds is prohibited by law.
“It’s not true, I don’t know where you got it,” Moreno said.
Montemayor finally accepted this answer.
There is a gift but…
According to the website of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the Gates Foundationit granted $319,147 in funds to the City of Manila in February 2020 as part of the private organization’s response for COVID-19 recovery.
The purpose of the grant has been clarified as following:
“Procure and demonstrate innovative, safe, off-grid toilet products and utilities in low-income communities that are not safely accessible by existing toilet technologies or utilities.”
The Gates Foundation is a large charity created in 2000 after the merger of two individual Gates foundations.
How viewers reacted
Debate viewers shared funny memes and photos to show how the Microsoft co-founder allegedly reacted to Montemayor.
Bill Gates in Montemayor: pic.twitter.com/snhXZMBClN
— Mackey 🍌 (@MackeyPan) February 27, 2022
Distributor Bill Gates: pic.twitter.com/OS8SLkEtK2
— joseph ⚒ #LabanLeni2022 (@micoblako) February 27, 2022
One online user said he was amused by the arrival of Gates’ name on Twitter’s list of trending topics.
— abby sofi a. 🎀 (@soofi16_) February 27, 2022
Some online users, on the other hand, were impressed when Moreno pulled out the receipt.
“Can resibo talaga ng BIR if yorme kasi karaniwan ng interview or forum puro excess campaign funds topic kaya naghanda na sya hehehe,” a Twitter user mentioned.