June 18, 2010 · Posted in: 2010 Elections
On Friday, Kaakbay party-list group issued a rejoinder regarding a series of stories by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism on advertising spending by party-list groups for the May 2010 election campaign. For the stories mentioned by Kaakbay in the rejoinder, the PCIJ precisely verified with advertising contracts that the television networks had submitted to the Comelec that the ads we cited as Kaakbay ads were “paid for” and “paid by” Kaakbay party-list group. The same situation applied to all the other party-list groups cited in the PCIJ stories.
According to the Fair Elections Act, the “paid for” and “paid by” clauses in the advertising contracts establish in truth the beneficiary and paying client of the same ads. We have copies of the advertising contracts and thus credited the same ads to Kaakbay party-list group. Whatever internal arrangements Kaakbay had with candidates Aquino. Roxas and Enrile are not reflected in the advertising contracts at all.If these candidates paid for the ads, using the name of Kaakbay party-list group, then that should have been reflected in the respective statements of election contributions and expenses (SECEs) that these candidates submitted to the Comelec.Otherwise, it would seem like there could be material discrepancies in the SECEs of these candidates.
Kaakabay’s full statement follows.
KAAKBAY REJOINDER ON PCIJ ARTICLES ON TELEVISION ADS OF PARTYLISTS
In reference to the PCIJ article entitled “Old-style politics, ads score win, ruin of party-list groups” written by Karol Anne M. Ilagan and posted at the PCIJ website on May 27, 2010, and related articles “When ads work and don’t” by the same writer and “Top 2 bets piggyback ads on ‘poor’ party-list groups” by Che delos Reyes, posted at the PCIJ website on April 29, we in KAAKBAY Partylist are issuing the following statements:
- The article/s failed to distinguish from among the listed partylists that placed televisions ads, which ones have their “own” ads, and which ones have “shared” or “tandem” ads.”Own” ads are those which entirely show the identified partylist, their message and advocacies and no other candidates, while “shared” or “tandem” ads show primarily the profile, message and/or advocacies of a national candidate or candidates with only a frame or end tag showing the partylist.Differentiating these ads would effectively lead to differentiating which among the partylists are really rich as they could afford placing their “own” tv ads, from those which are really poor and marginalized as they could only come up with “shared” or “tandem” ads with other candidates.KAAKBAY Partylist’s ads are entirely “shared” and “tandem” ads with Presidential Candidate Noynoy Aquino and Vice Presidential Candidate Mar Roxas, and with Senatorial Candidate Juan Ponce Enrile.
As a marginalized sector, KAAKBAY practically cannot afford on its own to buy airtime for TV ads. The amounts paid were raised and contributed solely for television ads by common supporters and sponsors of both KAAKBAY and our partner national candidates, specifically Presidential Candidate Noynoy Aquino and Vice Presidential Candidate Mar Roxas, and with Senatorial Candidate Juan Ponce Enrile.
- Without differentiating the “own” ads from the “shared/tandem” ads, the PCIJ article/s made a sweeping conclusion and generalization that all those partylists placing ads are all rich and not marginalized, all fakes and not genuine, and practitioners of old-style politics.KAAKBAY Partylist strongly disagrees with such sweeping and unfair accusation.KAAKBAY Partylist does not and can not placed its “own” ads as we do not have the necessary resources to produce and place them, so we only resulted into having “shared/tandem” ads.Our choice of partners in our “shared/tandem” ads speak well of our shared advocacies like consumer protection, lowering of electricity rates and amendments to the EPIRA law with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and good governance and anti-corruption with Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas. Supporting them and highlighting our shared national and pro-people advocacies are principled politics and a creative way to reach out to as many people as possible.
- The PCIJ article/s showed that “shared/tandem” ad is a simple case of a party-list group riding piggy-back on the popularity of a presidential candidate, and/or the candidate/s riding piggyback on the airtime credits of the party-list group.For KAAKBAY Partylist, our “shared/tandem” ads are not simple cases of piggy-backing or “gamitan,” rather they are genuine joint undertaking and partnership between KAAKBAY and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, and between KAAKBAY and Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas. We have shared national and pro-people advocacies and we support each other. It’s a case sharing of resources to advance shared advocacies made possible by our common friends and supporters who contributed and financed the TV ads.
- The PCIJ article/s erred in concluding that “shared/tandem” ads are circumventing the law and that circumventing the law is not obeying the law.KAAKBAY Partylist has not spent its election expenses beyond the limit set by the law. KAAKBAY Partylist has also not used up all of the 120 minutes of airtime provided by law. The partnership and alliance of KAAKBAY with its national candidate/s who shared our common national and pro-people advocacies do not violate any election law. Sharing of resources and airing of shared advocacies and support do not in anyway violate any election law or any law for that matter.
KAAKBAY is a genuine partylist organization representing the marginalized and unrepresented sectors of society affected by our advocacies on Education, Environment, Health and Agriculture, and Budget Reforms to make effective use of government resources for social development. KAAKBAY Partylist has a long undisputable track record of serving the poor and the marginalized. It is also a long time member of the Social Watch Philippines whose Lead Convenor Professor Leonor Magtolis-Briones happens to be KAAKBAY’s Partylist Nominee to Congress.
We hope this clarification finds adequate space in your website and circulation for the better understanding of your readers.
ALAIN DEL BUSTAMANTE PASCUA
18 June 2010