‘Otso Diretso’ bets not losing hope despite poor showing in surveys

By Hannah Torregoza

Even though most of them are far from the winning “Magic 12” in preferential surveys for senatorial candidates, “Otso Diretso” bets have vowed to work even harder in the campaign trail to pull up their ratings.

“Dobleng sipag lang, ikot lang. Pagiikot, pagpipresenta ng plataporma (ang aming gagawin),” former Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said in an ambush interview at Angeles City Public Market.

So far, Roxas is the only opposition senatorial candidate who made it into the latest Pulse Asia survey, ranking 8 to 12, with a 99 percent awareness rating and with 39.8 percent of respondents saying they will vote for him in the upcoming May 2019 midterm elections.

Opposition senatorial bets Samira Gutoc, Erin Tañada, Florin Hilbay, Nelson Aquino, representative for Bam Aquino, and Ines Diokno, representative for Chel Diokno, hold an intersectional dialogue at the Barangay Concepcion covered court in Malabon City (MINKA KLAUDIA TIANGCO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Opposition senatorial bets Samira Gutoc, Erin Tañada, Florin Hilbay, Nelson Aquino, representative for Bam Aquino, and Ines Diokno, representative for Chel Diokno, hold an intersectional dialogue at the Barangay Concepcion covered court in Malabon City (MINKA KLAUDIA TIANGCO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, who ranked 10th to 15th in the January survey, slid to 13th to 17th and his awareness rating fell to 95 percent.

“Well, may anim kaming kasama na kailangan pa ring umakyat pa. So, may spread kami (we have six other companions that need to rise in the surveys also. So, we have some considerable spread),” Aquino said in Kapihan sa Manila forum.

“Ako naman po (On my part), this was the only time na hindi tayo nakatungtong sa Magic 12 at usually pasok naman tayo. But again it just goes to show na kailangan nating doblehin yung efforts po natin (we need to double our efforts still),” Aquino added.

Asked if they were bothered with Roxas’ entry in the winning circle, Aquino said they were no longer surprised because the former Cabinet secretary ran for President in the May 2016 elections.

“Syempre po si Secretary Mar, tumakbo na yang presidente, so ibang level na iyan yung mga naging presedentiable na (Of course, Secretary Mar had already ran for president, so it’s a different level for those who were considered for president),” Aquino said during the forum.

Aquino, however, said the “Otso Diretso” candidates were relying on getting the support of the so-called “White Vote” or the Catholic and evangelical groups which have expressed their intention to help them in their campaign.

“But I’m hoping, again nabanggit po na suporta mula sa taong simbahan, suporta po mula sa mga kabataan. We’re hoping na in the next fifty-four (54) days magiging sapat na po iyon na umakyat, hindi lang po ako kundi lahat po kami sa aming grupo we will have enough numbers to be able to get up, not only me, but all of us in the group),” he said.

Roxas, for his part, reiterated his appeal to the public not to believe in the fake news being propagated against the opposition senatorial candidates and sowing intrigues against them individually or as a group.

“Ganyan talaga yan, panahon ng pulitika ngayon. Ang pakiusap ko sa ating mga kababayan, doon tayo sa totoo (That’s normal, because its political season. My only appeal to our people is let us side with the truth),” Roxas said.

“Huwag tayong basta-bastang naniniwala sa mga fake news, sa mga patutsada at kung anu-ano pa dahil panahon ng pulitika ngayon at maraming umiikot na hindi naman totoo (Let us not believe the fake news being peddled, the insinuations and other accusations because this is a political season and there are fake news circulating at this time of year),” the former presidential candidate pointed out.

Samira Gutoc, a civic leader and former journalist who is running under the ‘Otso Diretso’ slate, said she was grateful and humbled by the latest Pulse Asia survey as it showed that more Filipinos were getting more and more aware of their platforms for peace, development, women and children empowerment.

“I am also actually surprised with the result because we really have less machinery and not much funds compared to others. But thankfully, our grassroots and people-centered approach is slowly bearing fruit,” Gutoc said in a statement.

“The gradual rise of the Otso Diretso candidates in the rankings means that more voters are now believing that we should care about pressing issues, that peace is better than violence, that we’ve got to fight for our territory in the West Philippine Sea, and that rape and sexist jokes should be condemned,” she pointed out.

Gutoc, in the Pulse’s December 2018 survey, ranked 34-55, getting only 4 percent awareness rate and 1.3 percent awareness voting.

In January 2019, she ranked 32-48, got 5 percent awareness rate and 1.6 percent voting for. “Now I ranked 26-34, got 19 percent awareness and 4.4 percent voting for,” she boasted.

“Maliit man po para sa iba, lubos po ang ating pasasalamat sa mga nagtitiwala sa atin at sa ating adbokasiya sa Otso Diretso,” she said.

“Tuluy-tuloy lamang po kami sa door-to-door campaigns, sa pakikinig at sa paghikayat sa bawat Pilipino to vote for a genuine opposition and independent senators who are willing to stand for the oppressed and the powerless,” Gutoc added. #MatalinongBoto2019

 
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