Editor's note: We have deleted Coco Martin and Julia Montes in this story as their camps clarified they are registered voters. Our apologies.
(UPDATE) Considering the clout and exposure of the country’s most popular celebrities, big companies place millions from their advertising money to a personality who can best represent their brands. Same goes during the election season.
Others scramble to get Kris Aquino’s endorsement, while some with deep pockets or good platforms to get the support of other showbiz royalties. But the million-dollar question: Do these celebrities actually vote? Some of them don’t, apparently.
Using the Precinct Finder developed by the Comelec (Commission on Elections), Yahoo! Philippines found no related registered voters when it typed in the real full name of Sarah Geronimo. She's supporting senatorial candidate Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.
The name of actress-TV host Carmina Villaroel, supporter of Senate hopeful Grace Poe, is not included in the Comelec’s voters list. Sexy Kapuso actress Sam Pinto, who appeared in San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito’s political ads and several sorties, is also not a registered voter.
Meanwhile, presidential sister and potential 2016 election bet Kris Aquino is a registered voter of Makati City. Kris Aquino joins the last wave of the campaign period to support re-electionist senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. Another Chiz’s endorser, Vic Sotto, is a registered voter in Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City.
Kapuso actor Dingdong Dantes, endorser of senatorial candidate Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino and Buhay Partylist, votes in Quezon City.
Some may argue that though they make time to attend sorties and shoot political advertisements, their erratic and often busy schedule didn’t permit them to register when the Comelec held registration from April 1, 2011 to October 31, 2012.
However, in a text message sent to Yahoo! Philippines, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez clarified that “you don’t have to be a voter to endorse anyone.”
Political management expert Malou Tiquia said in an interview with GMA News Online that stars joining a political campaign comes with huge amount of money that can go as high as P35 million – discounting the per-appearance fees charged by celebrities. "Babayaran mo sila ng millions as an initial endorsement fee, tapos per appearance, magbabayad ka pa ng siguro ng mga P250,000. Hindi pa kasali riyan 'yung gagastusin mo para sa pagkain, hotel at transportation nila," she said.
Related slideshow: The official candidates and their credentials