MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday called on voters to help campaign for 8 senatorial candidates who are teetering on pre-election survey rankings.
Of the “Otso Diretso” candidates only Sen. Bam Aquino and former Sen. Mar Roxas managed to land on the top 15 or bets deemed to have a “statistical chance of winning.”
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada along with neophyte politicians and lawyers Chel Diokno, Pilo Hilbay, and Romulo Macalintal, as well as former Muslim assemblywoman Samira Gutoc settle in surveys’ lower tiers.
The “low start” should not discourage the opposition bets, Robredo said, as she urged their supporters to stage a repeat of her “unexpected” victory in 2016.
“Kung naaalala niyo ‘yung election nung 2016, ako yung kandidatong hindi inaasahang mananalo. Ako yung hindi kilala,” Robredo said during a pre-campaign event at the University of the Philippines.
(If you remember the 2016 elections, I was the candidate who was least expected to win. I was the one who was not known.)
“Sa survey noon, nagsimula ako sa 1 percent lang ‘yung nakakakilala sa akin,” she said.
(In the surveys then, I started with 1 percent voter awareness.)
“Walang kapaga-pag-asa, pero dahil sa tulong ninyo nagtagumpay ako. Ganun din po ‘yung gagawin natin sa ating Otso Diretso,” she said.
(I had no chance of winning but because of your help, I succeeded. That is what we will also do with the Otso Diretso.)
Voters should look for candidates who have been working for their benefit “even before the election season,” Robredo said, underscoring that each “Otso Diretso” bet have track records in public service.
“‘Pag eleksyon lahat ng kandidato mabait satin, lahat nagsasabi mahal ko ang mahihirap, ibinibigay ang mga di pa natin nahihingi. Ang iba binibigay cellphone, pero nasan sila nung wala pang eleksyon?” Robredo said without mentioning specific names.
(During elections, all candidates are kind, all candidates say they love the poor, and give us what we want even if we did mot ask for it. Others even give away cellphones, but where were day before the elections?)
“Dapat ang hinahanap natin hindi lang mahal ang mahihirap pag eleksyon, pero kahit hindi eleksyon ay inaasikaso pa rin kayo,” she said.
(We should be looking for candidates who do not love the poor only during elections, but who look after the poor during non-election seasons.)
The vice president ended her message by asking their supporters to do their “assignment” of campaigning for the “Otso Diretso” bets.
“Sana sa 2019 elections, hindi tayo magpadala sa pera, sa palakihan ng tarpaulin, sa pagandahan ng campaign materials. Dapat pinagaaralan natin kung sino sila,” she said.
(I hope we would not be swayed by money, huge tarpaulins and fancy campaign materials during the 2019 elections. We should study who the candidates are.)
“Hindi tayo makukuntento na tayo-tayo ang naguusap. Ang assignment ng bawat isa ay magparami pa dahil kung tayo ay nagkakaisa, walang kahilingan para hindi tayo pakinggan,” she said.
(We will not be contended with speaking among ourselves. Each and everyone’s assignment is to broaden this group because when we are united there is no reason for them not to listen to us.)