Senators say only rich candidates will benefit from ‘no-airtime-limits ruling’


Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines—Senators expressed fears on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision to stop the implementation of airtime limits on political advertisements on television and radio would be advantageous only to rich candidates.

“Bad news. Lamang na naman ang may maraming pera (The candidates who have more money have the edge),” re-electionist Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said in a text message.

Another re-electionist senator, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, aired the same sentiment though he acknowledged that removing the air limits  would give additional income for n smaller TV and radio stations.

“This will definitely be a boost, revenue wise, for the smaller TV and radio stations during this campaign season. However, this ruling will definitely also give an advantage and boost to the richer candidates who can more easily place more ads compared to candidates with less money like us,”  Escudero said in a separate text message.

Both Pimentel and Escudero are running under Team PNoy.

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. EDWIN BACASMAS

But for Senator Gringo Honasan, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the decision had no effect on  him.

“It doesn’t affect us because if you notice, wala naman akong TV ads aside from the UNA, yung common TV ad namin na itinigil na. So walang epekto sa amin yon,” Honasan said in a phone interview.

After all, he said, the cap on airtime has not been effectively enforced.

Honasan, also chairman of  the Senate committee on public information,  agreed  though that lifting  the  airtime limits  would  be  favorable to  only few  rich candidates.

“Obviously. Dahil kung taasan mo ang threshold, ibig sabihin niya ay ang makakalamang ‘yung may pambayad (Because of you raise the threshold, that means the ones who will have an edge are those with money),” he said responding to a question.

“Pero ayaw ko namang palabasin na naiinggit tayo or nagrereklamo. Pero dinisisyunan ng Korte Suprema yan (But I don’t want to make it appear as if I’m envious or complaining. The Supreme Court has already decided on that). As far as I am concerned, it doesn’t affect us because nagiipon pa kami ng pambayad sa (we’re saving up to pay for) infomercial namin sa TV ad,” he added.

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  • jpastor

    most of all ABS-CBN, GMA, 5, radio stations
    They are the front line petitioners against the air limitations.
    Greedy companies!

  • Marco

    ano bang nginangawa ng mga kandidato na ito akala ko ba marami silang nagawa at pinangangalandakan sa masa? manahimik nga kayo kung iboboto kayo ng taong bayan iboboto nila kayo tama na ang daldal

  • chitgoks

    less money daw o … ha ha ha!

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    The senatoriables and senatongs are not without options. They can expose ABS-CBN president Gabby Lopez III’s his rape case in 1975 that was hushed up. Check it in WikiLeaks and this newspaper clipping:

    (source: wikileaks,org/plusd/cables/1975MANILA13617_b.html)
    (additional reference: flickr,com/photos/79691913@N05/7241280010/)

  • Ako_Hiking

    So in other words it will only benefit the Aquino candidates since if you take a look at their line-up every single one of those people are super rich. It is difficult to understand how can all these rich politicians understand the plight of the poor when they are so rich and are somewhat disconnected with the poor.

    • nicosan fopalan

      did you even read the article?

      • Ako_Hiking

        Whatever the article says…is it not a true statement that the Aquino candidates all happen to be rich, power, and in some cases a celebrity? During this new Administration the poor have really been neglected and forgotten so one article does not change that fact.

  • Paulstronghold

    It’s the essence of right to free information. Wala talagang magagawa sa mga me pera. They are always on the advantage. Problem in this country is that more exposure and “more recall” have better chances of getting more votes – kahit dispalinghado at pulpol ang kandidato. Pity those good and very qualified candidates who cannot afford airtime cost. Harsh reality that will continously plague our election exercise, it is a vicious cycle where political leaders who belong only to the rich have the sole right to be voted into the office. The ante order by sc is anti poor.

  • Isko

    Nasaan na ang tinatawag na “fair playing field” ngayong panahon ng election? Nasa panig ng mga may pera lamang. Abolish na ang COMELEC kasi lahat ng decision nito ay binabaliktad ng Supreme Court.

  • manuel yaptangco

    Duh! Talk about belaboring the obvious. Heck, even an imbecile or simpleton could discern the motivation behind the SC’s ruling. The timing is quite dubious and spurious, I might add. With just three weeks to go before the elections, expect a barrage, torrent and deluge of pricey political ads to inundate our senses and sensibilities to the point of satiation or exasperation– whichever comes first. Meanwhile, the bigwigs of the 3 major TV networks must be laughing all the way to the bank.

  • John_Galt_II

    Tanga talaga si Ungasan. Ano kayang “threshold” ang pinagsasasabi. Makapag bitaw lang ng ingles kahit mag mukhang tanga!


    Ask the SC Judges how much they’ve been paid by the radio & t.v. stations for their decision. Dismantle this bulok flip-flopping decision SC na yan. Mga kampon ni GMA ang majority na SC judges na hangga ngayon nandyan pa rin.

  • go88

    It’s easy to predict the SC decision when big money is involved … no doubt the judges have money to invest now :).

  • regd

    Say whatever you want, IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY!!!!!

  • Ramil Abalon

    obviously senator gringo yan ang tactics ha ha ha….most justice were appointed by arroyo…after this SC approval yan…maglilipana na ang mga UNA sa advertisement ha ha ha . di naman sila nagadvertise sa national level pero sa regional at provincial stations doon ang walang puknat…

  • Iyen Dev

    That’s how SC make money from the Private Corporations.Just follow the Money!Yung mga Congressmen at Senadores ay may paraan din gumawa ng pera.While yung Executive Branch naman ay may paraan din gumawa ng pera.Mind your own businesses ika nga ng SC.

  • david

    well, utang bayad ang mga sc justices sa mga naglobby so ano pa ma-expect sa kanila.

  • boybakal

    It’s simple math….If you have big investment, you have big reward.
    If you have small or none at all, you have small or none at all reward.
    It is called progressive form of campaigning….the more you want to gain, the more you have to spend.
    Those who have less to spend, they are similarly situated to those who have less.

    The good result is….. More airtime ads does not mean vote at all.
    It is still people’s choice.

  • Benigno the Turd

    Funny then that it was their Team Pnoy colleague Alan Cayetano who asked for the TRO.

  • Guest

    Si Alan Cayetano lang ang natuwa sa decision ng SC lifting ad limits. Siya kasi ang nagpetisyon niyan.

  • Guest

    Palibahasa, ang gumagastos sa campaign ni Alan Cayetano ay mga mga amo niyang sina Manny and Cynthia Villar. kaya di problema pera sa kanya.

  • Guest

    Ibubuhos na ni Alan Cayetano ang lahat ng yaman niya sa kanyang political ads. gusto kasi niyang mag number 1 sa election.

    • Guest

      A ok. kaya di ako naniniwala na malinis itong si Alan Cayetano,na kesyo
      galit siya sa corrupt. Yun pala sobra ang pagka corrupt nya.

  • disqusted0fu

    It’s weird that the candidates complaining about the no airtime rule are team pnoy candidates. They are the ones who have the most airtime. Being a party very much supported by the President, their funds must be almost limitless.

  • Flipzi

    KOREK si Chiz at Koko …. Comelec and Supreme Court should enforce Fair Elections Act. pls google ‘Monopolized Tv Ads Flipzi’ (just copy and paste onto your browser’s address bar)

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