Miriam wants rivals to undergo lifestyle check


Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday called on her rivals in the presidential race to undergo lifestyle checks as she claimed that they are spending “scandalous” amounts of money in their political advertisements.

Santiago, who is running under the People’s Reform Party, noted that the huge amount of money being spent by other presidential candidates should prompt graft and corruption investigations.

The senator, the author of the proposed Anti-Premature Campaigning Law, questioned how other presidential aspirants can afford to spend way beyond the wealth declared in their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for their campaign.

“They spent at least five times the net worth they have declared for ads. One candidate even spent 17 times more than his net worth. Where did they get the money? If the public is to speculate, they would think that these candidates have either stolen from public funds or peddled their influence,” Santiago said.

According to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), four of the five presidential candidates have collectively spent some P3.2 billion in ads from January 2015 to January 2016.

A PCIJ report also showed gaps between the candidates’ ad spending and their declared wealth.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was allegedly the top spender, having placed P1.05 billion worth of ads.

He was followed by Sen. Grace Poe, who reportedly spent P1.016 billion on ads despite a net worth of only P89.5 million; Liberal Party bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd who spent P969 million despite a net worth of only P202 million; and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who shelled out P146 million despite a net worth of only P21.97 million.

“Almost all of these candidates are incumbent public officials, and have access to government funds. They are also prohibited by law from receiving gifts if the value of the gift is under the circumstances manifestly excessive,” Santiago said.

The senator added that although candidates are allowed to accept campaign contributions, they are obliged to reveal their donors and to pay for taxes for contributions received outside of the campaign period.

“The people deserve to know who bankroll the campaigns of elective officials so that when a campaign contributor enjoys benefits to the detriment of the public under the official’s watch, the people would know who to hold accountable,” she said.


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  1. That’s right. They should be checked before they can seat on the presidency. Spending huge amount on campaigning and accepting big money from donors with vested interests will make the next president do more corruptions by recovering those money from the people’s taxes and by giving big favors the those who donated big campaign money. Sen. Miriam have seen wisdom on this and she is right!

  2. Miriam, you are a lawyer. If you think what you’re saying is illegal or against the law, why don’t you file cases against your opponents? I’m sure people will support your cause in going against your opponents…

  3. asungot na pinoy on

    Vice President Binay is giving everything and putting everything on line because if he is defeated, he will surely be arrested once he steps down. Besides, the money he is spending is not his personal money, but his savings from the overprice buildings built in Makati. Eh ikaw Senator Miriam, ano ba ang diskarte mo? If you cannot compete with your opponents’ expenditures, you might as well drop from the race and stay home to rest.

  4. Good luck with lifestyle checks, The government will never allow that and everyone knows why.

    Need to stop pretending that the Philippines is not one of the most corrupt countries in the world or that it is a democracy.

  5. Is the desire to get elected to a high position in the government just an ego trip? For isn’t it crazy to spend huge amount of money for a measly government salary?

  6. Kung lifestyle check lang din naman, hindi masisilip si Grace Poe diyan, makikita mo namna kay Grace Poe na napaka simple lang niyang tao simpleng pamumuhay lang ang gusto. Isang halimbawa na lang na nagtrabaho pa siya sa ibang bansa kahit mahirap doon pero simple ang buhay kumpara dito na mayaman na talaga sila kahit saan mo pa dalhin. kaya ganoon ang nangyari dahil ganon ang gustong buhay ni grace poe, ang mamuhay ng pribado at simple.

    • comment lang.. on

      sis nabasa mo b muna ung article bago ka ngcomment, haven’t u read Sen. Grace Poe, who reportedly spent P1.016 billion on ads despite a net worth of only P89.5 million; pano mo msasabi simple ang pamumumuhay nya ,kng siya ay naging ofw din tulad ng cnasav nya hindi ka basta-basta mglalabas ng ganyan kalaking halaga lang lalo na kng alam nya na ang sinasahod ng pangulo kahit i sum up mosa 6 years e nd pa dn aabot ng ganyang kalaki. Pano mo babawiin yan as usual tatangap ng suhol sa iba katulad ng ginagaw ng mg prsent government officials e d lalo n nmang maghihirap ang bansa natin hindi lang si grace pati un ibang kandidato kahit p sabihin nilang mayaman o me mga donors cla tandaan nio me salitang GRATITUDE/ UTANG NA LOOB NA PGSISIMULAN NG ANOMALYA SA GOBYERNO, meron bang tao na hahayaan lng mawala ang ganung halaga wala kng ang malalaking negosyante nga labasan lang ng malaking halaga agad ngiisip kng pano bawiin ang lumabas ganyan din ang mga candidates natin TAMA SI MIRIAM IMBESTIGAHAN YAN HABANG MAAGA PA.