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Economy

Marcos party says he spent P272M for 2022 campaign 

REUTERS

PRESIDENT-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s party spent P272 million for his presidential campaign, well below the ceiling, the party’s lawyer said in a statement on Monday.  

The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas submitted its statement of contributions and expenditures to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). 

Under the law, the spending celing is P5 for each of the 67.4 million Filipino voters, or a total of P337 million. Mr. Marcos must still file a separate spending statement by June 8.  

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) in May said Mr. Marcos and his main rival, Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo topped ad spending on mainstream media from January 2021 to March 2022, at P1.4 billion each.   

Mr. Marcos did not record any ad spending on Facebook, the PCIJ said in a January report. “But this is not surprising because Marcos prefers meme wars over ads,” it said, citing Jonathan Ong, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has studied disinformation networks in the region.  

Facebook’s Ad Library is a public database of ads that ran on the social media platform. It provides details such as the content of the ads, how much was spent to boost the ads, and who were targeted.   

But it does not detail how much candidates spent to produce the ads and payments to social media experts who managed their accounts, PCIJ said. “It also does not cover payments to influencers tapped to endorse candidates on Facebook.  

Political ads were banned in Philippine elections until 2000, when the ban was lifted based on the view that ads would level the playing field by allowing newcomers to compete with more famous politicians.  

But critics have since complained how political ads have been accessible only to rich candidates, PCIJ said.  

The Supreme Court has rejected a Comelec attempt to limit political ads on radio and TV to 180 minutes and 120 minutes per station. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza 

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