Top poll ad spender? Alejano says he spent less than '3%' of PCIJ estimate

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition senatorial candidate Gary Alejano said on Saturday, February 16, that the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) report naming him as the top 10 political ad spender for the 2019 elections was false.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming on Saturday, February 16, he said that he only spent less than "3%" of the P76,403,080 that PCIJ tracked as his ad spend in 2018.

According to the PCIJ, the Alejano's expenditure dwarfs his declared net worth of P16,245,919.

"Kaya nga gusto kong i-clarify 'yun, gusto kong i-clarify 'yung expenses kasi nga I cannot imagine myself having that amount, I think 76 million. So gusto kong i-clarify 'yan kasi so far hindi nga aabot ng 3% man lang noon 'yung aking nagagastos," Alejano said.

(I want to clarify that. I want to clarify that I cannot imagine having that amount, I think 76 million. So, I want to clarify that, because so far, my expenditures wouldn't even reach 3% of that.)

Asked where he thinks the PCIJ got the computation in his expenditures, the Magdalo representative said he did not know.

Alejano gave the denial while explaining his strategy to climb into the Senate Magic 12: by working hard on the campaign trail and not relying too much on political advertisements.

"Let's compensate with hardwork, by going directly to the people. I go from one town to another, I came from Bicol, Camarines Sur, Albay, Camarines Norte, and now the opportunity to attend here," Alejano said in a mix of English and Filipino. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.