‘Entertainment-based’ campaigns meant to mask real issues, says Hilbay

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2019 07:35 PM

MANILA - The administration ticket is deliberately mounting “entertainment-based” campaigns to avoid tackling real problems in the country, Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Florin Hilbay said Wednesday.

Some candidates of President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) slate have been singing, dancing, cracking jokes and inviting celebrities during their campaign rallies around the country, while the opposition slate has been holding town hall meetings to discuss national and local problems and how to solve them, Hilbay said.

“As they go around entertaining the country, they do not talk about the issues. Territorial seas, hindi makapangisda ang mangingisda, doon tahimik sila,” Hilbay said in a press conference in Marikina City.

“‘Yung pananaw nila sa bumuboto, so long as people are entertained, they will be underinformed,” Hilbay said.

“‘Yung politics of entertainment is a way of keeping them away from policies and issues kasi kapag nagulat ‘yung mga tao, bakit lubog ang ekonomiya, bakit ganiyan ang policy sa Tsina, they will be placed in the defensive position,” he said.

Song and dance numbers help entertain and ease the boredom of the audience, Duterte-Carpio earlier said.

“That is the decision of the secretariat kasi hindi pwedeng dire-diretso ang mga speeches ng mga candidates dahil darating ang panahon na hindi na ma-grasp ng mga nakikinig kung ano ang sinasabi so we have to break it with entertainment,” Duterte-Carpio told reporters after HNP’s campaign sortie in Antipolo City, Rizal on Tuesday. 

Otso Diretso’s grassroots approach is better as it allows senatorial hopefuls to touch base and listen to voters, said former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, another opposition candidate. 

“The importance of doing this is you are able to listen to what the people are saying and the people you talk to know that you are there, listening to them,” he said.

“We know that it is impossible to go to every household pero ito ‘yung maging word of mouth sa iba ibang lugar,” he said.

Otso Diretso bets not doing well in surveys earlier said they hope to replicate the same approach that catapulted Leni Robredo to the vice presidency in 2016.

“[Ang sa amin ay] Organic campaign na dumidiretso sa tao vs an artificial campaign na nilalagay lang sa airconditioned coliseums yung mga hakot na crowds,” Hilbay said.

Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc earlier said the slate had to resort to campaigning in public markets and knock on doors after some local government units refused to host their sorties in key cities.