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THE TOP ad spender among the presidential candidates has already conceded, and his counterpart in the vice presidential race looks headed for a surprise loss as well. But it seems the government may yet end up a major winner – at least in financial terms – in what has turned out to be the costliest elections yet in Philippine history.

For a certain generation, re-elected Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will always be known as the former martial law administrator and the inveterate coup plotter. But for the 2010 elections, Enrile won on a campaign pitch that he is a man committed to the text generation. “Gusto ko, happy ka!” Enrile declared in campaign advertisements.

Barring last-minute surprises in the election count, the Noynoy-Nognog tandem will lead the next casting at Malacañang Palace in the next six years, according to funny-boned Filipinos. Nognog, dark-skinned Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay in real life, will also be installed as the country’s “first black vice president,” they say.

WHEN media groups started going about the grim task of compiling a list of journalists killed in the November 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao, there was a brief moment when the numbers wouldn’t add up.

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