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.
THE PHILIPPINE PRESS, widely held to be the freest and most rambunctious in Southeast Asia, has no reason to boast and gloat as journalists across the globe observe World Press Freedom Day today.
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.
THE LAW on campaign finance is firm and clear. It sets firm caps on how much a candidate may spend, who may donate and receive money on his or her behalf, and what types of expenses may be allowed, and what are disallowed. The limits are easy to remember: a candidate for president, vice president and senator may spend at most P10 per voter, and his or her political party, an additional P5 per voter.