CEBU CITY -- The opposition senatorial slate Otso Diretso and Vice President Leni Robredo, for the first time in 2 months, all shared the same stage here on Sunday, rejecting speculation that they have parted ways.
Candidates Romy Macalintal, Gary Alejano, Erin Tanada, Pilo Hilbay, Samira Gutoc, Mar Roxas, Bam Aquino and Chel Diokno last campaigned together in Naga City last February 13. They have since mounted separate sorties.
The 8 opposition candidates on Sunday attended a rally organized by the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon composed of Robredo's supporters. This was the slate's third visit to Cebu and only the second time that they were in complete attendance since the campaign season started.
“That’s part of our policital strategy, mas hiwalay kami, mas marami kaming nararating,” Macalintal said.
(When we campaign separately, we reach more places.)
Cebu, the province with the highest number of voters, "has a long history of voting the opposition," said Hilbay
"We also would like to give Cebu the attention that they deserve," added the former solicitor general.
FEAR ERODING SUPPORT FROM LOCAL EXECS?
The opposition candidates, however, lamented that local officials are allegedly in wary of hosting campaign sorties for them.
“Ang admin candidates araw-araw daw andito eh. Kami, hindi namin kaya ang chopper so kami 3 beses lang ang kaya,” Gutoc said.
(Admin candidates are reportedly here everyday. For our part, we can't afford a chopper, so we've been able to go here only thrice.)
“Naiintindihan natin ang local officials, marami naman na local officials na sumusuporta na hindi nakikita sa publiko,” added Alejano.
(We understand the local officials. There are many who support us, though unseen in public.)
POLL MACHINE INSPECTION
Diokno also raised concern over reports of police officers' alleged inspection of vote-counting machines in Baguio City.
“Wala naman silang kakayahan, kaalamam sa mga PCOS machines,” Diokno said.
(They don't have expertise, knowledge on Precinct Count Optical Scanner machines.)
Lawmen were deployed to Commission on Elections hubs in the Cordilleras to ensure that the machines were safe, regional police Brig. General Israel Ephraim Dickson was quoted as saying in a Philippine News Agency report.