A month before voters go to the polls, President Aquino remains confident of a 12-0 win for his senatorial ticket.
“That’s what we’re working on, if that’s possible,” the President told reporters on Wednesday after groundbreaking rites for a P215-million upgrade project for the Roxas City airport.
Aquino, who is barnstorming across urban centers to pitch for his handpicked senatorial candidates, declined to disclose his team’s strategy so the opposition would not be able to respond with countermeasures.
Nine of his candidates have consistently landed in the top 12 in preelections polls, including junior politician Grace Poe and the President’s cousin Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.
But the veterans on his team, former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal and former party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, are having difficulty getting voters to give them the time of day.
Aquino, however, acknowledged that the job of ensuring a sweep by the coalition candidates—and a shutout of the opposition—lay with the electorate.
“We’re appealing to our bosses, our countrymen. If they’re seeing the real change right now, our proposal is that these 12 candidates will help speed up this change in the country,” he said.
‘Who’s my boss?’
In a political rally later in the day in Passi City, Iloilo province, where he endorsed the senatorial and local candidates of his administration, the President took a jab at the opposition.
“Someone from the other camp said that pursuit of the straight path (his administration’s theme that means good government) is not enough. That means we’re not treading the right path, isn’t that right? If they know a straighter path, why didn’t they propose it? Why should they wait for 2016 before they share it with us? The truth is, they really don’t know the right path, and they’re only riding on our campaign for the straight path,” the President said.
Aquino reiterated that his administration’s strength depends on the people.
“Somebody asked: Is 12-0 doable? I’ve said this from the start. Who has been my strength? You. Who’s my boss? You. Who do I follow? You. So where the country goes, that’s your decision,” he said.
“If you’re happy with our work in the past two years and 10 months, that’s just the start,” he said.
The results, he added, can be speeded up only by voting for the Team PNoy candidates.
Two kinds of pols
Aquino told the Passi voters that there are only two kinds of candidates to choose from: the true public servants and the self-centered politicians.
“Our appeal to you: Choose the righteous treading the right path. Team PNoy in the Senate and our allies in your local government,” he said, adding his candidates would ensure that budgets for social and health services this year would not go to waste.
He then spoke about the government’s various projects in the province.
Not exempt from law
After that Aquino said his administration’s candidates were not exempt from the law penalizing vote-buying.
“Being a member of the (Liberal Party) doesn’t exempt you from the law. But at the same time our own law says ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty,”’ he said, adding that the opposition should bring charges if it has evidence against any of the administration candidates. “This will not be tolerated,” he said.