THE opposition Otso-Diretso! team of the Liberal Party had no ads at all in 2018. In January 2019, however, it bought 107 TV ad spots that ran for a total of 2,910 seconds on ABS-CBN and GMA-7 Network. Its adspend bill: P132,256,000.
Three of its candidates are also among the top 20 pre-campaign adspenders, including two of LP’s frontrunners, former Interior secretary Manuel Roxas II and reelectionist Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.
Roxas ranks third with an adspend of P401,264,380, while Aquino is sixth with an adspend of P136,490,982, according to Nielsen Media’s monitoring reports from January 2018 to January 2019.
Roxas’s adspending actually shot up sharply in January 2019, during which he bought 570 TV ad spots lasting 16,125 seconds in total. He paid a total of P349.5 million for his mostly 30-second ad spots for that month alone.
Aquino’s adspending last month also increased significantly from his total in the entire 2018, reaching nearly P89 million just for TV-ad placements.
By their latest available Saln, Roxas and Aquino are also in deficit spending, in terms of their pre-campaign ad buys.
In his 2014 Saln, the latest available, Roxas declared a net worth of P202,080,452.71. His adspend of P401,264,380 by January 2019 put him in deficit spending by P199,183,928. Roxas thus splurged on ads 198 percent more money than all that he declared he owns.
Aquino, for his part, declared his net worth as of December 2017 at P39,192,743.62, but spent thrice more or P136,490,982 on pre-campaign ads until last month. His adspend is 328 percent of his wealth, for a deficit spending of P97,298,239.
Roxas, Aquino and two more of Otso Diretso’s eight candidates incurred a combined adspend of P752,301,442 in 13 months ending January 2019.
Contributing to this total were Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano (10th among the top adspenders) and election lawyer Romy Macalintal who incurred ad buys of P76,403,080 and P5,887,000, respectively, during the same period.
Five other candidates running under other political parties or as independents had a combined adspend of P216,941,524 from January 2018 to January 2019.
They are reelectionist Sen. Grace Poe, with an adspend of P99,385,184; “Friends of JPE” or apparently returning senator Juan Ponce Enrile of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, P72,552,000; re-electionist Sen. Nancy Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance, P37,131,740; Rafael Alunan of the Bagumbayan Volunteers for a New Philippines, P5,573,880; and Neri Colmenares of the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan, P2,298,720.
Alejano, Tolentino, and reelectionists Poe, Ejercito, and Pimentel have all spent more monies on pre-campaign ads than the net worth they declared in their latest Salns. (to be concluded tomorrow)
(Malou Mangahas with research by Vino Lucero and infographics by Arnel Rival, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism)