By Hannah Torregoza
Otso Diretso coalition campaign manager Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday reiterated his call for Filipino voters to fight for truth and right as they troop to the polling precincts to cast their vote on election day.
“This, our people’s fight, is just one of many since 2016: the killings of suspected drug users and small-time pushers; the burial of the dictator in the heroes’ cemetery; the threats to our Vice President; the oppressive price increases of fuel and food,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
Voters should also be reminded of the arrest and detention of Sen. Leila De Lima over trumped up allegations of involvement in illegal drugs, and the onerous and unnecessary debts the Duterte government entered into with China.
Pangilinan, likewise, floated the possibility of the revival of the death penalty and the criminalization of child offenders.
The lawmaker also reminded voters of the attempts to arrest and detain Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the most vocal critic of the Duterte administration “and the giving away of our islands and seas and jobs and government projects to the Chinese.”
“Ang dami no? May mga panalo tayo dyan, may mga medyo panalo, may mga talo. Lahat yan, laban ng bayan, may partisipasyon ng taumbayan,” he pointed out.
“All are attacks on our democracy and freedoms, on the poorest and the most powerless, and those who defend them,” he stressed.
“Today is election day and regardless of the outcome, we have already won: eight candidates with sterling track records have offered themselves as our gladiators in this election battle; Catholic bishops and lay leaders have openly supported us; and tens of thousands, including young people and artists (new YouTube sensations and mainstream marvels), have wholeheartedly volunteered their time, talent, and money, going house to house, designing and printing their own campaign materials, writing and singing their own campaign jingles, shooting and uploading their own videos,” Pangilinan said.
Senatorial candidates running under the Otso Diretso are Sen. Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, former Senator Mar Roxas, former Rep. Erin Tañada, former solicitor general Florin “Pilo” Hilbay, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano.
“We have flexed our democratic muscles and we know our strength,” the Liberal Party (LP) president said.
“And all these are what we will take in the next battles, because there will be more. But then, there will be more of us amongst our ranks as well,” said Pangilinan, who cast his vote in Inchican School House, Silang, Cavite.