MANILA - For reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino IV, coming from a political clan has its upsides and downsides in an electoral campaign.
Aquino, cousin of former president Benigno Aquino III and nephew of martyred Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and the late former president Corazon Aquino, said carrying the name works both ways.
"It goes [both] ways. May mga tao (there are people) who will like me or vote for me because of things my relatives have done--that's a plus. Tanggap ko 'yan (I accept that). Kung may negative, tanggap mo rin dapat 'yan (If there's anything negative, you should also accept that)," said Aquino during an interview on ANC's Headstart Friday.
Bespectacled Aquino, whose looks are reminiscent of his late uncle, is running for reelection in the midterm polls under the opposition banner Otso Diretso. The slate is led by the Liberal Party, the same party of his cousin, the former president, and late uncle.
One challenge he is facing, he said, is that some people do not seem to know his accomplishments over the past 6 years in Congress.
Among his accomplishments are the passage of the Free College Tuition Act and the Go Negosyo Act.
"When the campaign started or a few months before it started, nag-research kami. Ano ba 'yung alam ng mga tao sa mga nagawa natin? And honestly, lumalabas na talagang hindi nila nalalaman 'yung mga pinaglaban na natin, mga batas na na-sponsor natin, na-author natin," he said.
(When the campaign started or a few months before it started, we did a research. What do people know of my accomplishments? And honestly, the result was that they really do not know what we have fought for, the laws we have sponsored and authored.)
He noted that fellow senator JV Ejercito is also facing a similar challenge in the campaign.
"Kami ni Sen. JV, we're on a similar boat. He sponsored the Universal Healthcare (law), I sponsored the free college tuition. Groups against us are trying to take it away from us. Other groups are claiming it," Aquino said.
He added that he hopes people would vote for reelectionists based on their track record.
"I think people can make better decisions looking at what we've actually done, how we voted in a perfect setting. Sana ganun po ang paraan ang pagtrato sa aming reelectionists (I hope that's how people would treat us reelectionists)," he said.
"But you hope that above the positives and negatives, mayroon ka nang enough track record, enough na nagawa para sa bayan para piliin ka rin (you have enough track record, you have done enough for the country for people to choose you)."
Aquino ranked in the 10-15 range in the latest Pulse Asia survey on senatorial preferences while Ejercito ranked 15-16.