Bets gang up on Villar over big ad spend

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Sen. Jamby Madrigal and several other presidential candidates on Monday ganged up on Sen. Manny Villar for spending too much on political advertisements, which analysts have pinpointed as the main reason why Villar has been able to catch up with erstwhile frontrunner Sen. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III.

In the “Inquirer First Edition: Presidential Debates” held at UP Diliman, Madrigal delivered harsh criticisms against Villar. The lady senator had filed a complaint for unethical conduct against the real estate tycoon in connection with the C-5 road extension project.

The ball started rolling when Madrigal was asked the question: “Political ads nowadays seem to cater to the lowest common denominator in society. From catchphrases to jingles, they seem to contain mainly rhetoric but no real substance. Do you think this type of campaigning, including political endorsements from movie celebrities, does this not contribute to the dumbing down of the Filipino voter?”

The sole female presidential candidate responded with a resounding, “I agree—completely.”

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