Gov't Must Finance Poll Campaigns, Says Angara

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The national government must finance the country’s election campaigns with the end in view of establishing a real, functioning democracy and stopping drug lords, gambling lords and big business from controlling or influencing winning candidates, Senator Edgardo J. Angara said Thursday.One source is P2 billion to be lopped off from the pork barrel, technically called priority development and assistance fund (PDAF) of senators and congressmen, which is enough to subsidize the country’s established political parties “which lie at the core of a functioning democracy,’’ Angara, a former University of the Philippines (UP) president, said.In a talk with Senate reporters during the Senate’s weekly ‘’Kapihan sa Senado,’’ Angara said that P2 billion is not too much to spend to ensure a good political system in the country that would eventually help propel the country economically vis a vis its Southeast Asian neighbors.He expounded on his bill seeking government financing to political parties and election parties which failed to get the nod of Congress which practically ended its regular session last February 4 to face the three-month election campaign leading to the May 10 national and local elections.‘’We ought to revive it and the wisdom of that bill is being proven daily that we have a problematic political party system,’’ Angara said. …