Press Release
May 13, 2009


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero said yesterday that any presidential candidate who says he or she will spend at least P1 billion in 2010 is planning to violate the law.

"Philippine election law says a presidential candidate can spend up to P10 per voter. If there are 40 million voters, then one needs P400 million," he stressed during the ANC Leadership Forum on Monday night.

The Comelec said recently that the voting population by May 2010 will reach at least 50 million, including new registrants.

He noted that the law also stipulates that a presidential candidate's political party can contribute an additional five pesos per voter. "That would mean an additional P200 million for a total of P600 million."

Pressed further on how much he spent during his campaign in the 2007 senatorial election where he received the second highest number of votes, Escudero said his spending reached P64.9 million and that this came from 60-100 people. "The Comelec has a list of all of them," he added.

Questioned on who the biggest contributor was to his campaign, he answered it was his political party, the Nationalist People' Coalition (NPC).

"The NPC contributed not cash but in kind in the form of advertisements."

He stressed that while there were other contributors most of them were known to him.

"I do not accept contributions from people I do not know and neither am I also beholden to any contributor."

When asked hypothetically how his presidential campaign would be financed, given his most recent Statement of Assets and Liabilities declaration of P7.4 million, he cited a line from the movie "Field of Dreams.' "I believe that 'if you build it, they will come,'."

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