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IF the law on campaign spending and political advertising were imposed before the official campaign period began last week, one presidential candidate would have already overspent in the past three months alone, even as he joins four others who would have exceeded the broadcast limit for TV.

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.

A BILLIONAIRE and four other millionaires lead the pack of those who want to serve as the15th president of the Philippines, all invariably swearing by an anti-poverty platform, and with some purposely harking on their poverty roots to spin and curry favor with majority of voters who are poor.