MANILA (UPDATE) - Otso Diretso candidate Samira Gutoc on Wednesday said she expected the opposition bloc to finish below the top 12 in pre-election surveys, but clarified it was not an admission of defeat.
Of the 8 Otso Diretso bets, only reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino had enough voter support to be considered as a hypothetical winner, according to data from Pulse Asia’s pre-election survey conducted from April 10-14.
“It’s expected. Hindi po kami aakyat sa 12,” Gutoc told reporters on the sidelines of a Labor Day forum.
(It’s expected. We will not reach the top 12.)
"Not defeat, certainly. What I meant is that surveys will place us Otso below 12,” she added in a statement.
Survey frontrunners, who are mostly administration-backed reelectionists, have the advantage of name recall, she said.
“Hanggang sa kabundukan ng Kalinga, Apayao, nandoon 'yung tarpaulin nila. Hindi namin 'yun kakayanin,” she said.
(They have tarpaulins up until the mountains of Kalinga, Apayao. We cannot afford that.)
“It’s not resignation. What I mean is [they are] more advantaged in finance, more advantaged sila in machinery,” she said.
Gutoc alleged that several candidates were also shelling out P200 for every person who would attend their campaign rallies.
“I am talking with credence that you are paying people to be in your campaigns, to be in your crowds,” she said without identifying particular candidates.
“I got that information from the ground. Government employees are forced to attend,” the senatorial aspirant alleged.
The Otso Diretso bet earlier said the slate is operating on limited funding as most donors were afraid to align themselves with politicians who lambaste strongman President Rodrigo Duterte.
The group opened an online funding account in February to raise more funds for the opposition roster.
Otso Diretso bet Erin Tañada said the slate is “will intensify” efforts to convince more voters in last campaign stretch.
“We are down to 10-12 days of campaigning. Ang importante po sa ating mga volunteers talagang kailangan ng sakripisyo, kumatok sa bahay ng mga hindi niyo kilala para ilaban ang Otso Diretso,” he said.
Samira Gutoc, Otso Diretso, Halalan 2019, senate elections, opposition, Bam Aquino, Erin Tañada