Doubts have been cast over the veracity of an alleged report detailing rivals of administration presidential candidate Mar Roxas as the biggest spenders on television advertisements last year.
Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and independent Senator Grace Poe were tagged as the biggest spenders on television ads in the alleged report by Nielsen Philippines.
The report quoting data from an alleged monitoring report by the media research firm said Binay spent P595,713,000 on TV ads from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 last year.
The second biggest spender was Poe with P448,166,000.
She is followed by Liberal Party standard bearer Roxas with P424,870,000 and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, of PDP/Laban, with P115,423,000.
The report said the top four presidential candidates spent nearly P1.6 billion on television advertisements in 2015.
Sources in the opposition camps said the alleged Nielsen report could be a fakery fed to media to discredit rivals of Roxas. The sources asked anonymity as they conduct an investigation to identify the persons behind the publication of the allegedly fake Nielsen report.
This suspicion was raised as the camp of Roxas jubilated over the alleged Nielsen report which placed the administration bet behind Binay and Poe.
It is clear that among the first presidential candidates who declared their candidacy, our candidate was the lowest in terms of ad spending, Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez said in the report.
Gutierrez is the spokesman of the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid, the coalition of political parties backing Roxas.
He also took a swipe at the spending of Duterte, Roxas’ harshest critic, who had the smallest figure on TV ads.
Duterte has the lowest expenditure because he declared his presidential bid at a later date, said Gutierrez.
Over opposition accusation that Roxas’ campaign would be funded by Malacanang with people’s money, Gutierrez assured the public that the ad expenses of Roxas came from legitimate sources.
Poe was amazed that she could have spent that much as quoted in the report to land as the second top spender after Binay.
The camp of Binay also disputed the figure alleged to have been spent by the Vice President on TV ads and suspected there is forgery.
We assure the public that we spent less than that, said Joey Salgado, spokesman for media affairs of Binay.
Salgado also expressed doubt on the veracity of the Nielsen figures in the report.
He said he knows that the research firm has not yet released its monitoring data for 2015.
Disputing the figures in the report, Salgado said Binay spent less than some candidates who advertised heavily in national, cable, provincial TV and radio.
The suspicion by opposition camps that the alleged Nielsen report is the handiwork of the administration, follows their allegation that Roxas in connivance with President Benigno Aquino are out to derail the presidential bids of their candidates.
Poe has said the disqualification case filed with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that sought to stop her from running for President was engineered by the administration.
Binay said the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee that investigated his alleged anomalies while mayor of Makari City was orchestrated by senators under the baton of Malacanang.
Duterte had also accused Roxas as behind a journalist who spread the story in social media that he is not running for President as he is suffering from cancer of the throat.