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A CLOSE look at election spending reports of seven presidential candidates and three political parties in the May 10 polls reveals that election campaigns are funded in the manner and mold of financing for risky business start-ups.

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.

THE HORRIBLY costly air war for the presidency has in recent weeks ceased being the exclusive domain of moneyed politicians and political parties. The new players and big buyers of political advertisements on television are seven apparently cash-rich party-list groups accredited by the Commission on Elections as supposed representatives of the “marginalized” and presumably poor sectors of Philippine society.

THIS presidential campaign is turning out to be the most expensive yet in Philippine political history, but it is also a story of two extremes – profligacy and penny-pinching on political advertisements by the candidates. In just the two months since the official campaign period began last February 9, six candidates for president racked up a daily average ad spending total of P10.5 million, or almost P633 million in 60 days.

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