By Genalyn Kabiling
Name recall remains a major consideration to help boost the chances of victory in the country’s elections as seen in the partial results of the ballot count, according to a Palace official.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo admitted that an endorsement from President Duterte was not enough to secure a poll win, adding that a candidate must also be popular to attract votes.
“Maraming factors in winning eh. The number one there is name recall [There are many factors in winning. The number one there is name recall],” Panelo said during a recent Palace press briefing.
“Kapag hindi ka masyadong kilala, kahit na in-endorse ka kung hindi ka naman kilala ng buboto, eh hindi ka rin lalabas [If you are not popular, even if you are endorsed but you’re not known by voters, you won’t win],” he added.
Panelo was reacting to poll results showing some administration senatorial candidates failed to win in the midterm elections despite an endorsement from the President. Among these senatorial aspirants are reelectionist Senator JV Ejercito, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan and singer Freddie Aguilar.
Eight of the 12 slots in the Magic 12 however have been cornered by other administration senatorial bets based on partial and official results. They are releectionist Cynthia Villar, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano, former police chief Ronald dela Rosa, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino, and reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.
The other candidates not endorsed by the President who made it to the top 12 are reelectionists Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay, and former Senators Lito Lapid and Ramon Revilla Jr.
Not a single candidate from the opposition’s Otso Diretso senatorial ticket however managed to secure a seat in the winners’ circle.
To the opposition candidates, Panelo thanked them anew for putting up a good fight and urged them to accept the poll results.
“We thank them for participating in democratic process. And we commended them for fighting a good battle,” he said. “But the majority has spoken, hindi kinagat iyong kanilang mga issues against the President,” he added.
He said opposition candidates should have presented their alternative platform instead of hitting the President during the campaign period.
“It would have been better, sabi ko nga sa statement ko, kung instead of hitting the President or mudslinging the President in quotes, they should have presented alternatives as against doon sa mga kandidato,” he said.
Malacañang earlier welcomed the “unstoppable trend towards a resounding victory” of the administration’s senatorial candidates in the midterm elections.
“Undoubtedly, the Duterte magic spelled the difference,” Panelo said, adding the electorate rejected the opposition’s negative propaganda and opted to choose stability and continuity of reforms by the Duterte administration.