MANILA -- Opposition senatorial candidate Erin Tañada said he convinced his father to allow him to run this year, because delaying the bid for a third generation Tañada in the Senate risks losing support from the family's elderly base.
Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III, 55, is the son of former senator Wigberto "Bobby" Tañada and grandson of former senator Lorenzo Tañada. His father and grandfather were among the most vocal critics of the Marcos dictatorship.
The young Tañada said he was focusing on schools, youth volunteers and social media to connect to young voters.
"I was kidding my father, I told him, 'Tay the people who recognize our names are senior citizens. If I wait another 3 years, you may not be able to vote for me," Tañada told ANC's Headstart.
"He was laughing. He said: you're correct," Tañada said of his his father, who asked why he was running in mid-term elections instead of in general elections in 2022.
Tañada is among second-generation politicians seeking a Senate seat in May, which include reelectionists Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and comebacking lawmakers Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla.
A fellow Otso Diretso candidate, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, is seeking to follow the footsteps of his father, former Sen. Jose W. Diokno.
Tañada, a former congressman, said he would push for a review of an 18-year old power form act to help reduce electricity prices and for coconut farmers to finally get their share of Marcos-era coco levies.
"People expect a lot from you. People expect the tradition of what a Tañada is, straight shooter, good governance will always be there," he said.
Tañada dispelled rumors that the absence of former Sen. Mar Roxas and Sen. Bam Aquino in Otso Diretso campaign sorties hinted at cracks in the slate.
"It's united. It has the same messaging as everyone else -- prices, specifically now, water, jobs, these are the things the people face everyday," he said.
Roxas sends representatives to Otso Diretso campaigns, including his cousin, chef and restaurant owner Margarita Fores, he said.
Tañada said Roxas pulled his chair away from Bam Aquino during one sortie because he wanted to sit closer and talk to Sen. Francis Pangilinan, not because he did not want to be with his fellow Otso Diretso candidate.
Tañada ranked 23rd to 31st in Pulse Asia's Feb. 24 to 28 poll. He said this was a "testament to people starting to know" who he is.
"We believe that awareness can even double by the end of the campaign," he said.