Chel Diokno can be opposition standard bearer in 2022 - Gutoc

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2019 10:27 AM | Updated as of May 22 2019 10:54 AM

'Otso Diretso could've won with more time' 


MANILA - Veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno can "mobilize democracy forces" if he were to be the standard bearer of the opposition in the 2022 elections, his fellow losing senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc said Wednesday. 

Gutoc, a civil leader, described Diokno as "all the things we want in a politician, very honorable, prinsipyado (principled)." 

Asked if the founding dean of the De La Salle College of Law, can be the opposition's champion in the next elections, Gutoc said: "He could be."

"He can mobilize as many forces, democracy forces in the community, grass roots," she told ANC. 

Diokno got 6,302,097 votes in the Senate race, landing him in 21st place, with 98.25 percent of election returns tallied as of Tuesday afternoon. 

None of the Otso Diretso candidates were poised to get any of the 12 Senate seats, 9 of which looked set to go to administration candidates, and the rest to "independents." 

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LOSING BATTLE OF AIRWAVES, GROUND WAR 

Gutoc attributed the opposition shutout to lack of funds to pay for ads and low support from local politicians who are supposedly wary of ending up in the government's narco-list. 

Opposition bets, she said, also struggled with boosting their name recall among voters, while some of their rivals had the advantage of belonging to political clans or the entertainment industry. 

"It's important really that we get to complement air war, and ground war. Talagang napakalaking function ng LGU (the local government had a huge function) and we lost that," Gutoc lamented. 

"Hindi namin nadala ang boses hanggang sa grassroot. When we're in the palengke, grabe po, hindi kami kilala. But when they get to see us, talk to us, okay pala kayo. Kulang lang talaga kami ng reach," she added. 

(We failed to bring our voice to the grassroot. When we're in markets, peole really didn't know us. But when they get to see us, talk to us, they say you're alright after all. We just really lacked reach.) 

Otso Diretso could have won "if we had more time," she said. 

Appealing to winning candidates, she also said, "Sana po beyond the elections, dalhin na lang ng administration [bets], independents iyung mga narinig nila sa amin, constructive criticism to President. Hindi ito personalan." 

(I hope that beyond the elections, administration bets and independents would carry what they heard from us, constructive criticism, to the President. That was not a personal attack.) 

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