Monday, March 15, 2010

Candidates glued on TV, save Aquino

by Christine Herrera

Original Story:

The leading presidential candidates took a break Sunday from the election campaign sorties and watched icon Manny Pacquiao successfully defend his world boxing crown against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey.

Only Senator Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party missed the fight, preferring, he said, to stay home and study campaign issues. “Studying today, meetings tonight,” Aquino told Manila Standard when asked what he was doing during the boxing match.

His closest rival, Senator Manuel Villar Jr. of the Nacionalista Party, watched the fight at his residence in Las PiƱas City, according to his public relations officer Judith Sto. Domingo. Incidentally, Pacquiao is running for congressman in the lone district of Saranggani in Mindanao under Villar’s Nacionalista party.

Former president Joseph Estrada had a giant TV screen set up at his Polk Street residence in San Juan so he could watch the Pacquiao-Clottey bout telecast live via Destiny Cable’s pay-per-view TV.

The ruling party’s standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. also stayed home to watch the fight on TV, his aide said. The Harvard-educated Teodoro was scheduled to hold a meeting with party leaders later yesterday, an aide said.

Bagumbayan’s presidential bet Senator Richard Gordon went to the Kamayan Restaurant in Ermita, Manila, to watch the fight. Gordon did not say why he chose Kamayan, but said he was impressed with Pacquiao’s performance.

Televangelist Eddie Villanueva, standard bearer of Bangon Pilipinas, said he wathed the match on free TV in his hometown in Bocaue, Bulacan. He chided Villar and Aquino for making viewers suffer from a barrage of their political ads.

“I was told that many candidates paid millions of pesos worth of airtime for their commercials to be aired in the Pacman-Clottey fight,” he said.

Villar knocked out Aquino 10-2 in ad placements during the airing of the fight, according to observers.

Minimum ad placements in the Pacquiao-Clottey fight allegedly cost P2 million, inclusive of replays and cable exposure, Villanueva said. Although the airtime for the actual fight was said to have cost P1 million, the minimum ad package was P2 million, Villanueva said. with Fel Maragay, Eileen Mencias, Joyce Pangco Panares

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