Who's the poorest of them all? It is I, says Falcone

by Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 19 2013 10:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2013 08:50 PM

Senatorial candidate Baldomero Falcone 

DPP bet wants government to shoulder campaign expenses

MANILA -- Senatorial candidate Baldomero Falcone on Tuesday said the government should fund the campaign expenses of all candidates to level the playing field.

If elected, Falcone said he would push for this electoral reform to ensure that the rich and the poor have equal chances in winning in an election.
"Only the rich in the country have the chance to be elected. The poor, although they are brilliant, have no chance at all. Like me, for example, I'm the poorest of the poor of all the candidates," he said on ANC's "Harapan 2013" forum Tuesday night.

Falcone is one of the three senatorial bets of the Democratic Party of the Philippines (DPP).

He said he agrees with former Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon, who was also present at the forum, that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should just gather all candidates in certain places and give them equal opportunities to campaign.

The two also agreed that eliminating television or radio advertisements would ensure an equal playing field among candidates.

"Maganda 'yan. [I agree] a hundred percent," Falcone said.

"There are many creative and brilliant people among the poor but because of the high cost of campaigning, their creativity is lost. Sayang," he added.

'Eradicate pork barrel'

The DPP bet also said he wants to eradicate the priority development assistance funds (PDAF), more commonly known as the pork barrel.

He said pork barrel should be used instead as equity capital for the "securitization" of projects in all districts in the country.

"We want to have an economic renaissance that all the Filipinos should be enjoying, not just the political dynasties that control 70 percent of the resources in the country," Falcone said.

He added the government should have the "political will to develop all the natural resources and make our people stay here and have their families enjoy here."

God in the center of political activities

Citing the DPP's spiritual stance, Falcone said God should always be in the center of people's activities regardless if these are religious activities or not.

During the forum, Falcone recalled the teachings of DPP founder Ernesto "Manong Ernie" Ramos.

"God should be the center of all political activities to fight graft and corruption, political dynasties, and all these evils," Falcone said.