Presidential candidate Sec. Mar Roxas’s December 5th “Fast Forward” music video drew lots of flak from the viewing public, with the video gaining just 3,000 likes and almost 21,000 dislikes in less than a week. Filipino netizens said the celebrities in the video agreed to participate only after they were handsomely paid by the Liberal Party. These celebrities, along with the video’s director, were quick to refute these allegations.
As a regular netizen with no powerful connections, I will not be able to verify bribery claims, let alone the actual intention of these celebrity endorsers. There’s no way for me to guess what’s in their wallets and what’s on their minds. However, I found a workaround.
Major Celebrity Endorsers
Celebrity endorsements are advertising campaigns that involve well-known persons using their fame to help promote a product or service. The philosophy lies on the premise that because the celebrity endorsers support a product or service, viewers should support that product or service too. In this case, the product or service is the team of presidential candidate Mar Roxas and vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo.
At first glance, it’s clear that these celebrities look extremely enthusiastic at the idea of a Roxas presidency. They give the impression that despite Roxas’ problematic platform, they’re there because they want him to win. They’re want him so badly that they’re willing to stake their reputation on it. That is, these celebrities went out of their way to appear in a political ad that also doubles as a career risk. So they should really be damn serious about it, right?
From reports, the celebrities endorsed Mar Roxas gratis because they seriously believe Mar’s advocacies.
Now, if seriously believe Mar’s advocacies, I guess it’s logical to conclude that they would, at the very least, vote for him themselves.
But for them to be able to vote for him, they have to be registered voters, right?
So the question here is this: did they actually even bother to register?
Did these Celebs even register to vote?
If we were in 1990s, there’s no way to know until we spot them at their respective precincts on election day. Luckily, however, the COMELEC maintains an online precinct finder tool that allows us to check if each of these celebrity endorsers is a registered voter in real life, and to do this, all we need is their complete real name and their date of birth.
A: Let’s list them down
First, here’s a list of the 15 major celebrity endorsers who appeared in the “’Fast Forward’ sa Daang Matuwid” video:
Jay-R (lead singer)
Kris Lawrence (lead singer)
Billy Crawford (lead singer)
Angelu de Leon
Rufa Mae Quinto
Martin del Rosario
B: Find the details that COMELEC requires
Celebrities typically use screen names, that’s why I still had to google their real legal names and their birthdates. One of these celebrities is relatively recently married (Melai Cantiveros-Francisco), so I listed down two versions of her name: maiden and married.
Note that Ramon Bautista’s full name and date of birth are not readily available online because he shares the same real name with former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. and with accused plunderer Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (all three are Ramon Bautistas in real life). Meanwhile, Chokoleit does not have readily available birth year information.
Fortunately, however, the real names and dates of birth of all the other celebrities on the list are easy to find, especially since celebs love to share their public information even if no one gives a damn.
So let’s start to check who’s pretending.
C: Check these details against the COMELEC database
Here comes the moment of truth.
Let’s verify their voter records one by one.