Editorial: Tipping half a billion in pre-showdown

THE media research firm Nielsen Philippines reported the January to November 2015 television advertisements of the four presidential candidates and it showed Vice President Jejomar Binay pushing past the half a billion mark with P595.713-million and Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas nearing that mark with P448,166,000, for Poe and P424,870,000 for Roxas.

At the tailend but still with a considerable amount is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte with P115,523,000.

It’s not even the campaign period yet.

Indeed, there is truth to Duterte’s protestations when he was insisting he does not want to seek the presidency because he does not have the money. The presidency as all can see needs big money, and that is just the preliminaries. Into the official campaign period, every second of our consciousness will be bombarded by advertisements, whether in print, television, or radio, as well as posters, and each will mean money spent. How much will be spent? That will really depend on how much the candidates and their supporters have.

But there is a glimmer of something new on the horizon that the mayor can test: the promises made by many ordinary folks that they will campaign on their own. Will this push through? If it does, then we will be witnessing a campaign waged by the people and whether it brings the mayor to the presidency or not, it is something worth observing, keeping tabs of, and yes, recording if only for the lessons that the electorates and all those aspiring to be elected can learn from.

In the meantime, we wait on how things will work out as the official campaign period draws ever near.

Don’t even think that the spending is just by the presidential candidates.

As the Sunnex article on the Nielsen Philippines report further showed, the biggest spender among the vice presidential candidates is Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with P398,288,000, followed by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with P103,429,000. Camarines Sur Representative LeniRobredo spent P91,602,000, and Senator Gregorio Honasan, P43,580,000. While Senator Francis Escudero spent P30,000 only.

Even the senatorial candidates are already into it with Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez pouring in P310,763,000; Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian with P166,952,000, and; former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino with P144,112,000.

The candidates for the presidency, vice presidency and Senate spent a combined P3.538 billion on TV ads last year, the Nielsen’s report said. As we wait, let’s ponder on the question: Who’s spending no whom?
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