MANILA, Philippines – The appearance of senatorial candidates Risa Hontiveros and Ernesto Maceda in two separate variety shows over the weekend could be charged to their total airtime minutes, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said Monday.
“I got reports on appearances in variety shows by senatorial candidates and I’ve formalized a request to their parent companies or whoever is producing them to give us a copy of those programs,” Jimenez told reporters Monday.
Jimenez was referring to Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros and former senator Ernesto Maceda who appeared in Gandang Gabi Vice and Wowowillie, respectively.
“Guesting on variety shows is not prohibited per se, that’s OK, but there will be implications on your time limit, meaning it might be charged to their [number of allowed minutes],” Jimenez said.
In the case of Hontiveros, there was a “paid for, paid by” jurisdictional statement displayed the entire time she was on the program, which Jimenez said made it “clear that they intended for that to be a television advertisement.”
“This is the first time that guesting on a variety show has been explicitly branded as a political ad by any candidate,” Jimenez said.
“I’m very curious as to how the network will report this particular contract, if it will be a contract for an appearance or a guesting and whether or not it will include in that contract a stipulation on how long that candidate will appear on air,” he said.
Jimenez said that “it’s a certainty” that Hontiveros will be charged the time because it was very clear they intended her guesting to be a television advertisement.
“No need to debate anymore whether it was an ad or not, obviously it is an ad, [we’ll] look at the length of exposure because that will be charged to the total allowable time limit,” he said.