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Bishops warn voters vs overspending candidates

>> Saturday, March 13, 2010

It’s so easy to guess who the bishops were referring too since the whole Philippines, or perhaps even the world know who has the billions who has been spending like crazy on campaign ads.

With more than P2 billion already spent by candidates on political advertisements alone, this year’s election is touted to be the most expensive in the country’s history, according to Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) executive director Malou Mangahas.

“Everybody seems to be spending like crazy on advertisements," Mangahas said in a forum earlier this week.

The prelates also stressed that voters should choose candidates who are “God-fearing; moral; not given to vices; reverent of life and its deserved decency," those with real concern for the environment and the poor, and those that provide good examples of responsible Filipino citizenship.

“Although this statement is just telling voters to use their conscience, ’yung statement na ‘yan is partisan. They (the bishops) are directing it against one candidate at maliwanag na si Villar ’yun.," Lim told GMANews.TV in a telephone interview.

Villar has spent over P1 billion on campaign advertisements since November last year, according to AGB Nielsen.

Asked why the pastoral statement may have been directed against Villar, Lim answered, “Hindi natin alam kung bakit, pero siguro gustong ipakita ng Simbahan that they don’t want people who spend too much for votes, which they believe is immoral."

Based on studies conducted by AGB Nielsen, Senator Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party is so far the biggest spender in television advertisements alone, amounting to P1.3 billion from November 1 last year to March 2 this year.
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