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This audit covers 20 candidates for senator listed in Pulse Asia’s latest nationwide survey on the May 2019 Senatorial Elections that was conducted from December 14 to 21, 2018 using face-to-face interviews. These candidates are also among those most actively engaged in social media.

From January 2018 to January 2019, the combined ad spending of 18 candidates on TV, radio, print, and outdoor ads have reached PhP2.4 billion, by the rate card of media agencies monitored by Nielsen Media. Yet, just a few have net worth values bigger than their respective adspend.

A CHIEF JUSTICE was impeached in 2012 for failure to declare the true and detailed list of condo units he owned, and pesos and dollars he had in banks. Ten years prior, a President was forced out of the Palace for collecting millions in kickbacks and commissions from state contracts and excise taxes, as well as for building scandalously opulent mansions for his mistresses. He, too, kept hidden the facts of his wealth, and would be exposed later to have used a fake name to open a fat bank account.

MORE THAN a year after President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the Freedom of Information executive order, a practice completely reverse of the policy has been creeping onto some documents requested by the public. The likely tool for the unexpected move: a black marker. Redactions on items declared by Cabinet officials in their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) released by the Malacañang Records Office have recently been noted by media outfits requesting these as material for stories.