MANILA, Philippines—How far would one go for a seat in the Senate?
For Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, it means literally running in 33 cities and towns during the 90-day campaign season.
The partylist lawmaker is taking the race literally with the Senate as his finish line, kicking off the campaign period with a sprint to the Senate in Pasay City on a rainy Tuesday morning.
“I will be buff after this campaign!” said Casiño as he prepared to run for his “Takbo ni Teddy, Takbo ng Karaniwang Tao” campaign.
Casiño said he was a regular runner and has joined several races in the past. He plans to run in various places in the country as part of his campaign. “At least I will be hitting two birds with one stone – I will be campaigning and keeping myself fit by running around the country.”
Hopeful for support
Casiño’s parents, Amador and Lizabelle and his in-laws Josefina and Honorio Cervantes, were with him during the proclamation rally, saying they were hopeful that their bet would snap up one of the much sought after seats.
“We are hopeful. We know that it’s an uphill fight since we don’t have much resources–money–we don’t even have a popular political party but we are hopeful he will be supported by the masses,” Amador Casiño told INQUIRER.net.
“The Senate needs fresh faces and I think people will support him,” he said, saying he has been accompanying his son to campaign events such as this “even if it is difficult for me to walk.”
Josefina Cervantes, Casiño’s mother-in-law, said that they would be with him in every run he makes. “Sasama kami kahit umulan pa. Noong filing ng candidacy niya umuulan pero kasama kami.”
Casiño has little time for himself, what with all of his duties as a lawmaker and now his campaign, but Josefina said he always made sure that Sundays were for his family.
“Kailangan niya mangampanya. Naiintindihan namin na lagi siyang wala,” she said.
Campaign organizers pegged the number of supporters who ran with Casino to be around 500, with three groups converging at Buendia corner Taft Avenue in Manila.
Fellow Makabayan bloc lawmaker ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio ran alongside Casiño to the Senate, hopeful that support for the leftwing senatorial bet would pour in during the campaign period.
Supporters from other provinces also ran simultaneously with his campaign’s kickoff in Southern Tagalog; Vigan; Tuguegarao; Cauayan, Ilagan and Santiago in Isabela; Dagupan; Baguio; Daet; Naga, Legaspi, Sorsogon, Masbate, Catanduanes in Bicol; Iloilo; Bacolod; Cebu; Cagayan de Oro; Iligan; Bukidnon; Davao; and Zamboanga City.
Josefina Cervantes said that Davao was special for Casiño’s campaign “because it’s his birthplace.”
Voice of common folk
The partylist legislator is bent on bringing “the voice of the common folk to the Senate” and has earlier braved rains to file his certificate of candidacy (COC) by running to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Our campaign is a mass movement and is not a simple machinery run by money, our campaign is of, by and for the common folk,” said Casiño.