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BY ALL ACCOUNTS, the May 10, 2010 polls was the costliest ever in Philippine electoral history. The top candidates for president and vice president alone spent P4.3 billion on political ads during the official 90-day campaign period, and another billion 90 days before the campaign commenced, according to Nielsen Media’s monitoring of tens of thousands of political ad clips.

THERE are still a few more weeks to go before the May polls, but the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is already busy counting – political ads, that is, not votes. Election laws put specific caps on campaign expenditures and political ad airtimes, as well as on the size and frequency of printed campaign ads

IT’S AN air war for now for the candidates for president; it’s an air war for their running mates, too. Just like their respective parties’ standard bearers, the leading candidates for vice president have poured in hundreds of millions of pesos on political advertisements on television.

CANDIDATES and political parties are not the only ones who have to submit documents to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) once the campaign period starts. According to Comelec Resolution No. 8758 or the “Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 9006, otherwise known as the Fair Election Practices Act in Relation to the May 10, 2010 Synchronized National and Local Elections, and Subsequent Elections,” all media entities,

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