Isko positioning himself as underdog to attract votes, says analyst


Posted at Apr 23 2022 04:47 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2022 12:16 PM

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MANILA – Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso wants the public to see him as the face of the opposition and a real underdog in the upcoming elections to attract more voters, a political analyst said on Saturday. 

Domagoso's campaign shifted recently to attacking Vice-President Leni Robredo, who has consistently ranked second in surveys, said UP Political Science professor Maria Ela Atienza.

On Easter Sunday, the mayor urged Robredo to withdraw, because he said her camp earlier urged other presidential candidates to do the same. 

"Gusto niya pumosisyon na mukha ng oposisyon at strategy niya ’yun, Strategy din niya na ipakita o ikumbinse ang mga tao na inaapi siya o binubully, galing siya sa hirap. So ang istorya niya ay laging ina-underestimate ng lahat ng tao lalong-lalo na sa ngayon," Atienza said on Teleradyo. 

Domagoso has also been projecting himself as the "middle ground" between Robredo and Marcos, as he does not belong from a political clan.

"Nag-a-appeal siya na siya ang third choice ... Parang sinasabi niya na siya ang safe choice at hindi daw siya representative ng traditional politician," Atienza said.

It remains to be seen though whether his strategy would work, the analyst added, since he could not substantiate some of his claims and his attacks have become repetitive. 

Domagoso has called Robredo the "godmother of all bullies" and has taken a swipe at her supposed use of teleprompters during campaign rallies.

"Ibang bagay kung nagwo-work, kasi parang paulit-ulit lang at parang wala siyang maipakitang sapat na ebidensya," Atienza said.

"In that sense, nag-backfire pero mukhang pinaninidigan ni mayor Isko ’yung position na ito. Dumating na sa isyu ng bullying, matapobre, pero dahil doon, hindi natin alam ang nakumbinse niya [o] na-turn off."

Domagoso’s chief campaign strategist, Lito Banayo, this week said he has no intention of stopping Domagoso from spewing vitriol against Robredo or any other candidate.

This was the similar case during the 2016 campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte, added Banayo, who was also part of the former Davao City Mayor's campaign team.

"We were fretting every time Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would speak and come up with curses against the Pope ... Maraming mas nakakatakot na statements but the people saw reality in him," he explained.

The elections are on May 9.