By Raymund Antonio
With a week before election day, Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Sunday the opposition “Otso Diretso” slate will fight it out to the end, and give it their all to win in the Senate.
Pangilinan, who is Otso Diretso’s campaign manager, remained optimistic of a “last minute” victory for the eight-member opposition ticket.
“Ako naniniwala, habang palapit nang palapit ang eleksyon, patindi nang patindi. In fact, ‘yung ganun siguro, whether good or bad, ang ating mga kababayan, mahilig din sa last minute,” he said.
Pangilinan, who is also the president of the Liberal Party (LP), believed in the judgment of the Filipino voters, who would decide for themselves the candidates they want in the Senate.
The senator mentioned the come-from-behind victory of Vice President Leni Robredo, who started at the bottom of the surveys in the 2016 elections, but still managing to emerge as the winning candidate.
“Naniniwala ako iyong pagkapanalo ng ating Vice President sa huling banda ay dahil nga ang taong-bayan ang nagpasya, tinimbang nila, at nakita nilang karapat-dapat. At ganun din ang ating layunin dito po sa walo,” Pangilinan, who was a guest at Robredo’s radio show, said.
“Titimbangin sila. ‘Pag tinimbang sila ng ating mga botante, eh palagay ko ay sasabihing husto. Tamang tama. Sapat na sapat,” he added.
The LP president warned against the spread of fake news and bogus social media accounts about Otso Diretso bets in the final stretch of the campaign.
“Kapag ang taong-bayan ay mulat, ‘pag ang taong-bayan ay nagiging mabusisi, mayroong pagbantay, ay talagang kahit na anong hindi magandang pangyayari, eh nababantayan at we can check it. Kaya nga very critical,” he said.
In her weekly radio program, the Vice President paid tribute to Otso Diretso volunteers and supporters for their relentless efforts to boost the Senate bid of the opposition bets.
Robredo, the leader of the opposition, even shared the heartwarming stories from the ground in the 90-day campaign period.
Among these were cash donations from supporters, making handmade posters and handwritten sample ballots, hosting campaign sorties, and going around their communities to campaign for the eight candidates.
Robredo said the volunteers were the heart behind Otso Diretso’s campaign, and would always serve as inspiration in the face of many challenges such as lack of money, machinery, and support from local politicians.
“Kapag nagbubukas kasi ng Facebook, nakikita ko, hindi namin mga kilala, pero nakikita natin iyong mga ginagawang nakakabilib,” she said.
“Parang sasabihin mo, ‘Sobrang suwerte naman natin na mayroon tayong mga taong ganito,’” Robredo remarked.
For Pangilinan, the volunteers and supporters helping the Otso Diretso slate were the “life” of the campaign.
“Sa iba’t ibang parte ng ating bansa, volunteers talaga ang pinakabuhay ng ating kampanya,” said the senator.