WATCH: Robin Padilla chimes in on why he is leading Senate race

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2022 11:12 PM | Updated as of May 10 2022 01:46 AM

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MANILA – Actor Robin Padilla believes he is leading the senatorial race not because he is a celebrity, but because of his platform which is primarily to pursue charter change.

At 68.27% votes transmitted as of 9:47 p.m. Monday, Padilla ranked No. 1 among the senatorial candidates, ahead of survey frontrunners Antique Rep. Loren Legarda and broadcaster Raffy Tulfo.

Padilla said he was surprised with partial, unofficial results that placed him atop the list of aspiring senators, in an interview on TeleRadyo as the election returns continued to come in.

“Wala po, kahit sa magandang panaginip, hindi ko naramdaman o naisip na ako ay mangunguna na karera na ito, sa pagiging senador. Una, wala naman po akong makinarya, wala naman po akong pera, wala po ako lahat,” he said.

He credited the support of his supporters and family, including his wife Mariel Padilla, as well as incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go as instrumental to his successful first-time bid for an elected seat.

Padilla also pointed out that he was endorsed by the President and his daughter, vice-presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and enjoyed the support of some Muslim groups as well as the Iglesia ni Cristo. He added that his being included in the UniTeam campaign of the younger Duterte and presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may have helped propel him as a frontrunner.

Even then, Padilla said he was surprised with his No. 1 ranking based on 70% of election returns transmitted.

For the former action star, votes for him were votes specifically for his plan to push for federalism in the Philippines.

“Kabigla-bigla din po ito. Pero hindi ko naman din iniisip na ako po ang ibinito ng tao dito. Alam ko po, nararamdaman ko po na ang ibinoto ng mga tao dito ay iyon pong aking plataporma na charter change, palitan po natin ang Saligang Batas, isulong po ang pagbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa mga lalawigan, at iyon po ang pederalismo. Naniniwala po ako na iyon ang niyakap ng ating taumbayan, kaya po ako siguro nangunguna sa labanan na ito. Wala po akong maisip na puwedeng maging dahilan para ako po ang manguna, kundi iyon lamang pong plataporma ko,” he said.

“Hindi naman po ako naniniwala na nanalo ako dahil ako’y si Robin Padilla. Hindi po ‘yan. Huwag po nating paniwalaan ‘yan. Ang paniwalaan natin ay ako po ay nakasama diyan — maging No.1 o No. 2 o maging No. 3 — para isulong ang pederalismo. Iyan po ang asahan ninyo. Hindi po ako diyan magiging bingi, hindi po ako diyan magiging pipi. Kung gaano po ako kaingay noong ako’y artista lang, noong wala pong nakikinig sa akin, ito pong lalo na na nagkaroon tayo ng plataporma, nagkaroon po tayo ng sinasabi nating pagtitiwala po ninyo at ako’y iniluklok ninyo, mas marami po tayong masasabi.”

Asked what he intends to do in his first days in the Senate, Padilla circled back to his platform of pursuing charter change.

“Kailangan na po nating ipatupad ang pagbabago ng Saligang Batas. Kung ano po ay mananatili diyan sa No. 1 at kung ako ay mapoproklama na No. 1, siguro naman po ay panggising na ito sa mga mambabatas natin, dahil sino ba naman po ako? Ang minahal po ng mga tao ay ‘yung plataporma ko na baguhin na natin ang Saligang Batas at wala nang iba.

“Ngayon, ang taumbayan na ang nagsalita. Malinaw na malinaw po dito, dahil ako po’y walang kahit ano. Wala po akong network. Wala akong pera. Wala akong kahit ano. Pero kung ako ay mananatili sa pagiging No. 1, isa lang po ang ibig sabihin niyan — gumising na ang mataas na kapulungan at ang ating mababang kapulungan,” he said.