The camp of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Tuesday, April 5, dismissed the claim that the Ikaw Muna (IM) Pilipinas Visayas chapter has shifted its support to another candidate.
This after Nick Malazarte, head of the Visayas chapter of IM Pilipinas, announced the group’s shift of support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo during a press conference in Cebu on Monday, April 4.
“Unang-una, isang tao lamang ang alam naming nagsalita, si Mr. (Nick) Malazarte, at meron namang statement yung karamihan nung mga Visayas for Isko, VISA, at mga grupo sa Cebu na dine-deny yung claim ni Mr. Malazarte, na siya ay nag-iisa lamang (First of all, only one person spoke, Mr. (Nick) Malazarte, and most of the Visayas for Isko, VISA, and groups in Cebu have a statement denying Mr. Malazarte, that he was alone),” Aksyon Demokratiko campaign strategist Lito Banayo said during a press briefing at the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.
Banayo also said various sectoral and volunteer groups remain solid in their support for the presidential bid of Domagoso.
“Sa katunayan, sa darating na [April] 8 and 9, ay pupunta si Mayor Isko at ang kaniyang team sa Cebu, at ang magho-host sa kanila ay volunteer groups na based sa Cebu at Visayas. So, hindi namin alam kung ilan ang sinasabi ni Ginoong Malazarte na diumano ay lumipat kay Vice President Leni [Robredo] (In fact, this coming [April] 8 and 9, Mayor Isko and his team will be going to Cebu, and they will be hosted by volunteer groups based in Cebu and Visayas. So, we don’t know how many Mr. Malazarte said to have allegedly moved to Vice President Leni [Robredo],” he added.
Dr. Winley Deal Fuente of the Visayas for Isko-Sara Alliance (VISA) and Edward Ligas of the President Isko Movement-Isulong ang Kapakanan ng Pilipina had earlier said Malazarte was not even active in the activities of the sectoral groups in the Visayas that are pushing for Domagoso’s candidacy.
Ely Abella, head of Inisyatibo ng Makabayang Pilipino, also said that it was actually Malazarte who does not have solid followers that can help boost the Manila Mayor’s bid.
Banayo, meanwhile, also warned the public to not base decisions on surveys.
“In a toxic environment such as what we have, where pink trolls proliferate, kaya maraming hindi sumasagot ng tama sa surveys e dahil sa bashing na ginagawa ng ibat-ibang sides (many do not answer correctly in surveys due to bashing done by different sides). So this has engendered a sense of parang (like a) fear on the part of a lot of people,” Banayo explained.
“Again, these are snapshots. Lahat ng surveys na nakikita natin ay mga (All the surveys we are seeing) either mid-February or first week of March. Pero hindi pa naka-capture yung mga mabilis na nangyayari na mga events (But it “did not capture” developments like the snowballing of the issue on the), like itong P203 billion estate tax claim against Ferdinand Marcos Jr.. How it impacts on his number, we still do not know in this point in time,” he pointed out.
Banayo also rejected the calls for “unity talks” which pushes a candidate to withdraw to support the bet who could win against Marcos Jr.
“Sa madaling salita, ang pinag-uusapan natin dito, kung itutuloy natin ito, ay magkaisa tayo para sa isang tao. Hindi naman yan tama. Kasi sa aming pananaw, ang pinaglalaban nga namin yung mamamayan, hindi isang tao o isang faction (In other words, what we are talking about here, if we continue this, is that we unite for one person. That’s not right. Because in our view, what we are fighting for is the people, not one person or one faction) ” Banayo said.
“It’s about people, it’s not about warring factions. It’s not about exclusive factions who think they are morally upright compared to the rest of humanity. So, I don’t think that will prosper.”