By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo sees a glimmer of hope for Otso Diretso candidates.
During the first month of the campaign period, Robredo said the voters’ awareness on the opposition senatorial bets has significantly improved. From cellar-dwellers, their survey numbers have been going up.
“Actually, malaki iyong improvement, kasi noong nag-umpisa kami, talagang kulelat iyong anim dahil hindi pa mga kilala,” Robredo, the leader of the opposition, said.
(Actually, it’s a big improvement, because when we started, the six candidates were really lagging behind. They were really unknown.)
The Vice President said she was encouraged by the latest results of a pre-election survey given the zero awareness for some of the Otso Diretso candidates before the campaign season.
“Wala pa iyong anim sa, parang, winning streak, mayroong… dramatic na iyong itinaas. Kasi nag-umpisa kami na mga dalawa o tatlo, halos zero iyong awareness sa kanila,” she said.
(The six candidates are not yet on the winning streak… there was a dramatic increase. Because we started with two or three candidates, the awareness on them was almost zero.)
Robredo is not about to lose hope that opposition candidates would get higher vote preference in the new surveys leading to the May 13 polls.
This despite only former Interior secretary Mar Roxas was part of the top 12 in the recent Pulse Asia survey. Reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino was outside the winners’ circle again in February.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno ranked 22-27, with 6.9 percent of respondents said they would vote for him. His awareness rating went up by 16 points in February to 39 percent.
Last month’s awareness rating of Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc’s jumped by 14 points to 19 percent, but she ranked 26-34, while former solicitor general Florin Hilbay ranked the lowest among the Otso Diretso bets at 36-52, but his awareness rating improved from five percent in January to 13 percent.
The other candidates—Romy Macalintal, Gary Alejano, and Erin Tañada—were still far behind, but their rankings have improved.
“Iyong very encouraging lang, kasi nakita sa figures na mataas iyong conversion—mahina iyong awareness, mataas iyong conversion—so, parang, hopeful naman kami na mayroon pa tayong mga less than 60 days para maghabol,” she said.
(It was very encouraging in the figures, the conversion rate was high—the awareness was low, the conversion was high—so, we are still hopeful that we have less 60 days to catch up.)
She recalled her own come-from-behind victory in the 2016 vice presidential race.
“Sana iyong nangyari sa akin, ganoon din iyong mangyari sa kanila, na iyong natitirang kaunting oras, nahabol naman. Sa amin, instead na ma-discourage, mas lalo kaming na-encourage sa numbers,” she said.
(I hope what happened to me would happen to them, that they would catch up in the remaining time. Instead of being discouraged, we were encouraged by the numbers.)