By Mario Casayuran
Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said Saturday media should review its policy to allow poor or not so rich candidates for the scheduled May 2019 midterm elections to give them exposure.
Drilon was reacting to reports that some candidates, particularly those seeking a berth in the 24-member Senate, are already spending so much for media exposure even before the election campaign. The campaign starts on Feb. 11.
He said he has heard of a candidate not in the opposition complaining that, despite spending so much, his position in the latest poll survey showed he is far behind the pack.
TV stations are reported charging millions of pesos for a 30-second television exposure on prime time TV.
He said this candidate was reported planning to assess his situation whether or not he would continue his election campaign if things do not improve.
‘’There should be a rule to allow exposure of the candidates for free media, free TV, di yung bibigyan mo sila ng panahon 2 am, (but not at 2am when no one is watching)’’ he said.
Drilon, a former Justice Secretary during the Cory Aquino administration, pointed out that media also has the responsibility to expose candidates to media so that the public could assess their qualifications.
As a member of the political opposition, Drilon said their eight senatorial bets are gearing for the election campaign.
He said it is too early to say that there would be only two opposition bets who might win based on the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Of the eight, reelectionist Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and former Senator Manuel ‘’Mar’’ A. Roxas II are in the lower echelon of the Magic 12.
‘’We must do everything including appearances in free media. Di naman sila pwedeng sumayaw sa edsa, kailangan nila ng exposure,’’Drilon said. (They do not need to dance at EDSA but what they need is media exposure.)