MANILA - Rep. Lito Atienza, the 2022 vice presidential bet of Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI) party, on Monday said he is unfazed by the decision of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to join next year's national elections.
The daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte may be a "Goliath" in politics, but "I am not scared," Atienza said in the online edition of "Pandesal Forum".
"Goliath siya ngayon. Malalaki sila, pero hindi ako natatakot," he said.
(She may be a Goliath now. They may be popular, but I am not scared.)
"Kung gugustuhin ng Panginoong Diyos na manalo ako, gigisingin ng Panginoong Diyos ang tao para iboto ako," he added.
(If the Lord God wants me to win, He will wake up the people to vote for me.)
Atienza noted that he has defeated incumbent officials when he was starting out in Manila City's local political scene in the 1990s.
"Sabi ng lahat, 'Wala nang laban si Lito. Taga- San Andres Bukid lang yan,'" he said, referring to a district in the capital city.
(Everybody was saying that Lito has no chance of winning. He's just from San Andres Bukid.)
"Maliit na tao, laking San Andres Bukid pero... nagsama-sama lahat ng mahihirap noong 1998. Ang binoto, ang kapwa nila mahirap," he said.
(I was just a low-key individual who grew up in San Andres Bukid... But the poor people united in 1998. They voted for their fellow poor Filipino.)
"Tinalo ko ang mga Goliath sa paraang tama, na hindi naman tayo gumamit ng maling paraan," he said.
(I defeated the Goliaths in the right way without using ill tactics.)
In an SWS survey conducted last month after the filing of candidacy period, Atienza placed 5th among 5 individuals for the vice presidency, with 3 percent of respondents saying they would back the running mate of world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who is running for president.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III led the said poll with 44 percent, followed by Duterte-Carpio with 25 percent.
Liberal Party president Kiko Pangilinan and Aksyon Demokratiko vice presidential aspirant Willie Ong tied at the 3rd spot with 13 percent each.
Atienza said he does not believe in surveys.
"Wag kayong maniwala sa frontrunner," the House deputy speaker said.
(Do not believe in frontrunners.)
"Baka ang kaniyang popularity, gawa-gawa lang ng mga survey," he added.
(It is possible that their popularity was just manufactured through surveys.)
While he does not have the clout of Duterte-Carpio, Atienza said that his vice presidential bid is anchored on his political experience and principles.
"Hindi ako anak ng pangulo. Hindi ako si Sara Duterte," he said.
(I am not the child of a president. I am not Sara Duterte.)
"Pero mayaman ako sa karanasan. Mayaman ako sa prinsipyo. Mayaman ako sa kaibigan. At iyan ang magpapanalo sa akin."
(But I am rich in experience, in principles, and in friends. And these are the things that will help me win.)
More than 20 individuals filed their candidacy for vice president, that also include Prof. Walden Bello. The final list will be known in the coming weeks.
The official campaign period for national position candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections will begin on Feb. 8, 2022.