Duterte: Not spending my own money for TV ads

Pia Ranada
Duterte: Not spending my own money for TV ads
Many of the television ads were supposedly paid for by Manila and Davao supporters

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte denied spending his own money for television advertising on Thursday, January 7, during a press briefing in Cebu City.

His statement comes days after a Nielsen report claiming he spent P115 million on such ads. He was 4th in the list of top spenders. Vice President Jejomar Binay was number one on the list.

“Somebody in the Chinese community gave the money to help me with those ads,” he said.

Lito Banayo, a political strategist and Duterte supporter, earlier told Rappler that most of the ads for Duterte came from his supporters.

The groups Friends of Duterte (FORD) and Champions of Rody Duterte (CORD) pooled funds from contacts in Manila and Davao, he said.

Banayo, who helped produce the “Tapang and Malasakit” TV ads and a similar radio ad in Central Visayas and Mindanao said their expenses haven’t even exceeded P40 million.

Nielsen, however, may have included the Duterte-Cayetano tandem ads in their count. These ads were paid for by the supporters of Duterte’s running mate, Alan Peter Cayetano.

No ‘nationwide machinery’ yet

Barely two months after filing his candidacy for president, Duterte said he is yet to consolidate a “nationwide machinery” for his campaign.

But one thing is for sure, though sourcing funds will be tough, he won’t accept money with strings attached, he said.

“Money is hard to come by nowadays. I have been very frank to everybody. I am not going to accept any donation, any assistance coming from businesses or corporations doing business with government,” he told media. 

A presidential campaign typically costs from P2 billion to P3 billion. This is Duterte’s first time to run for a national position.

NPC support?

Duterte, running as the standard-bearer of political party PDP-Laban, denied expecting any support from other parties.

While the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the country’s second biggest political party, is said to be thinking of supporting him, nothing has been formalized.

“It was only a plan, a conversation. Until now, no invitation has been extended to me to attend any meeting with them,” said Duterte. 

Cayetano is running under the Nacionalista Party.*

Duterte emphasized, however, that if he were to take the side of a political party, it would be a partnership based on similar values and platforms, not on political expediency.

“If you find that there is something common between you, you should be ready to talk. But if there are things you do not see eye-to-eye in so many areas of governance and running the country, then just make off and say maybe we cannot go together,” he explained.  

Duterte and Cayetano are in Cebu City from Thursday to Friday, January 8, for their first political sortie in the Visayas as a tandem. – Rappler.com

Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this story, Cayetano was indicated as running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition. This has been corrected. He is running under the Nacionalista Party.

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.