Presidential, VP bets spend P6.7 billion on pre-election campaign ads - PCIJ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The administration tandem topped a list of pre-election campaign ads spending, according to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on Wednesday (March 9).

PCIJ monitored the advertisements of presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial candidates on television, radio and print ads from March 2015 to January 2016.

The official campaign period for national candidates started last February 9.

Related: Analysts: Election spending to prop up local markets

Documents showed that the Liberal Party (LP) with Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo as standard-bearers, spent P1.3 billion.

This was followed by the United National Alliance (UNA) with Vice President Jejomar Binay and Gringo Honasan, with P1.1 billion.

In third place was the "Galing at Puso" (excellence, heart) team of Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Chiz Escudero with around P1-billion.

PDP-Laban's Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano spent a total of P700 million.

Vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. paid about P250 million, while Sen, Antonio Trillanes IV shelled out almost P9 million.

Related: VotED: Prohibited sources of campaign funds

The total amount was around P6.7 billion, which PCIJ said could have been used to put up 23,000 permanent housing units for Yolanda survivors and 13,000 public school classrooms.

While there are caps on election spending, the Commission on Elections says it cannot run after the candidates because based on the Automated Election Law,  prohibitions will only apply once the campaign period began and not after an individual has filed a certificate of candidacy.

CNN Philippines' Triciah Terada contributed to this report.