Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV says that previous association with President Duterte is akin to a “kiss of death” to politicians who are now jumping ship to other political parties ahead of the May 2022 polls.
In an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Source on Monday, Oct. 11, Trillanes noted that this is an “indicator” that the President lost his touch.
“Nawala sa kanila ‘yung asim ika nga. Nawala na ‘yung sigla na dumikit sila kay Duterte (They lost that magic, as they say. There is no more excitement of being allied with Duterte). They see Duterte, at some point, na magiging (to be a) kiss of death down the line towards the end of the campaign,” Trillanes, a staunch critic of the President, stressed.
The former senator claimed that the Chief Executive has become “unmasked” and that will become “irreversible” come election time.
“Ramdam natin yan (We can feel that), that is palpable. Talaga nakita nila ‘yung palpak talaga si Duterte at korap si Duterte (They really saw that Duterte is a failure and Duterte is corrupt). Hopefully, they are looking forward to 2022 na i-rectify yung pagkakamali na ‘yun (to rectify that mistake) by picking the right candidates,” he added.
For the upcoming elections, reelectionists who used to align themselves with the current administration are jumping ship, many of whom are seeking to be reelected under the banner of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s Aksyon Demokratiko.
Domagoso is running for president in 2022, having landed on the second to third spot in recent presidential preference surveys.
Aside from Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, the son of Senator Cynthia Villar and former Senate President Manny Villar, none of the President’s current senatorial line-up made it into the Top 15 of the latest survey for senators.
Trillanes, chair of the Magdalo Party who is running as an opposition senatorial candidate under presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo, said that this shows the “pulse of the people.”
“Kasi normally, ‘yung mga (the) traditional politics would flock dun kung sino yung llamado or matunog sa masa, sa electorate pero walang ganung nangyari (who is leading or who has the vote of the masses, of the electorate but that’s not what happened),” he added.
Although three-quarters of Filipinos were still satisfied with Duterte’s performance in June, a survey held that month showed that his popularity rating plummeted by 21 percentage points below the record-high +79 percent rating he achieved in November 2020.
Despite this, the former senator knows that the opposition is facing an “uphill battle” to win the 2022 polls because the opposition was “demonized in the past five years by the propaganda machinery of Duterte”.
Still, Trillanes said that the political environment has changed since 2019 when none of the opposition’s “Otso Diretso” senatorial candidates made it into the Magic 12.
“We are expecting na greatly diminished na ‘yung (the) impact or effectiveness nung mga (of the) troll farms, nung mga (of the) fake news kasi mulat na iyong mga tao (because the people have been awakened),” he added.