MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo will soon formally endorse the opposition's senatorial candidates, and this could improve their rankings in pre-election surveys, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Thursday.
Of the opposition's eight Senate bets, only former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino has a "statistical chance of winning," according to a survey released last week by Pulse Asia.
"Si Vice President Leni, in the coming days, ay lalabas siya to formally endorse itong opposition candidates. Malaking boost 'yan," Trillanes, a staunch administration critic and minority senator, told reporters.
(Vice President Leni in the coming days will come out to formally endorse these opposition candidates. That will be a big boost.)
Trillanes said that while the May race will be "tight" with 14 reelectionists and returning senators, opposition bets have yet to campaign and could still catch up.
He noted that during the 2013 elections, then Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile ranked high in initial senatorial surveys but eventually lost, while then political neophyte Sen. Grace Poe started out with low survey ratings and ended with the highest number of votes.
"I am confident na once magsimula ang campaign, makakahabol 'yan (opposition bets)... Unang malalagas d'yan iyung mga walang ipinapakita, name recall lang ang kapital," he said.
(I am confident that once the campaign starts, they will catch up. Those who have nothing to show, whose only capital is name recall, will drop out of the rankings first.)
The opposition slate, led by the Liberal Party, includes Roxas, Aquino, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, Mindanao women's champion Samira Gutoc, lawyer Romulo Macalintal, and human rights defender Chel Diokno.
GOING AFTER GO
Trillanes, who is on his last term as senator, also said he would actively campaign against the Senate bid of Christopher "Bong" Go, the erstwhile longtime aide of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Ako, mangangampanya talaga para hindi iboto iyang tao na iyan. Lahat ng mga hindi karapat-dapat, iyung mga naniniwala pa sa akin, sasabihin ko mga dahilan bakit hindi dapat iboto iyan," he said.
(I will campaign so that person will not be voted. All undeserving candidates, to those who still believe me, I'll tell the reasons why they should not be voted.)
The Senate race, he added, will be an avenue for disgruntled voters to show opposition against Duterte.
Go placed 14th to 16th in Pulse Asia's latest survey.
Last year, Trillanes tagged Go in intervening in a frigate deal between the Philippine Navy and a South Korean firm, and accused him of conflict of interest as a firm supposedly owned by his family had allegedly bagged government contracts.
Go denied the allegations.