'Dilawan' tag not baggage for opposition bets: Kiko

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2019 11:55 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2019 12:32 PM

Students and faculty of the Severino Arroyo Higshschool join the Otso Diretso Senatorial Candidates in a photo-op after an open forum in Iriga, Camarines Sur, February 13, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Is the "dilawan" tag a form of baggage for the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates?

Liberal Party president and Otso Diretso campaign manager Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan doesn't think so, saying the term is used as a derogatory term in social media. "Ang daming trolls doon (social media) e," he reasoned in an ANC interview. 

Dilawan is scornfully used to describe members of the Liberal Party, whose stalwart, former President Benigno Aquino, has been criticized for alleged elitism and failure to solve the country's problems. 

Pangilinan, however, said Otso Diretso candidates were still welcomed in 116,000 households in the last 3 months even after they identified themselves as members of the Liberal Party or opposition candidates. He said the campaign has attracted 10,000 volunteers.

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Pangilinan also maintained that the 6-year term of Aquino was not enough to solve all the country's problems. 

"Anybody who says that 6 years is enough for a country to move from poverty and underdevelopment to first world nation status -- anyone who says that is a fool. Admittedly there were gaps, admittedly we fell short in a number of areas. But in the end you cannot solve all the problems in 6 years," he said. 

Aquino will be campaigning for Otso Diretso bets in "selected areas", Pangilinan said, but declined to say where. He added: "If you have finite resources, you focus on your base."

"We believe marami pa ring naniniwala sa ating dating pangulo at makakakumbinsi rin siya ng significant segment of the population," he added. 

(We believe many people still believe our former president and he can convince a significant segment of the population.)