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Bam Aquino says opposition bets grateful for endorsements from political parties

/ 09:09 PM January 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Bam Aquino said on Monday that the endorsement of Otso Diretso senatorial bets by political parties is essential in their uphill battle against other candidates in the upcoming polls.

Aquino said this during the mass oath-taking of new Aksyon Demokratiko members and the presentation of its senatorial line-up on Monday.

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“Gusto ko pong magpasalamat sa Aksyon Demokratiko sa suporta po dito po sa aming mga kumakandidato, kailangan po talaga namin iyong suporta,” the senator told officials and newly sworn-in members of Aksyon during a program in San Juan.

(I want to thank Aksyon Demokratiko for their support to our candidacy. We really need your support.)

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All eight senators from the Otso Diretso candidates were included in the line-up. Aquino, along with former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, were officially adopted by Aksyon Demokratiko.

They will be joined by  Nationalist People Coalition (NPC) bet, former Senator Lito Lapid, and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, who is Aksyon Demokratiko’s official senatorial candidate.

Aksyon Demokratiko, which was created by the late former Senator Raul Roco in 1997, is one of the parties that formed an alliance with Otso Diretso, along with the Liberal Party (LP), Akbayan party-list, and the Magdalo party-list.

“We’re very happy na ang isang partido gaya ng Aksyon Demokratiko ay sumusuporta po sa amin (We are happy that a party like Aksyon Demokratiko is supporting us),” Aquino added.

READ: Aksyon Demokratiko endorses 9 senatorial bets

Aquino’s remarks came two weeks after a Pulse Asia survey showed that only him and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas from the members of the Otso Diretso slate made it to the “Magic 12.” Roxas was in the 8-15 spot while Aquino was in the 10-16 spot.

The rest of the Otso Diretso candidates need more support. Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada is closest to Roxas ad Aquino at the 22-31 spot, followed by human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (26-35), Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano (27-37), election lawyer Romulo Macalintal (28-50), and civic leader Samira Gutoc (34-55).

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READ: Poe tops Pulse Asia survey on 2019 Senate hopefuls

Aquino remains hopeful that they can land senate seats in the upcoming elections.

“Hindi ho magiging madali itong laban natin pero kung sama-sama ho tayo aabot rin ho tayo sa pagtatagumpay (This is not going to be an easy fight, but if we are united, we can achieve success),” Aquino noted.

Individual stand 

But amid the different alliances being formed with Otso Diretso, Aquino clarified that the opposition’s stand on certain issues — such as the lowering of the age of criminal liability — would not change.

“No, no, I think malinaw naman ‘yong aming personal stand  on these issues, at natutuwa naman ako na nagkaka-tugma kaming lahat sa Otso Diretso slate (Our personal stand on these issues are clear, and I am glad that we are on the same page),” Aquino told reporters in response to questions whether being placed alongside Lapid would affect their anti-administration stance.

Lapid’s NPC party-mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, has advocated for the lowering of the age of criminal liability, albeit not the version of the House of Representatives, which brought the age down to nine years old from 15.

READ: Sotto: Majority of senators OK to lower age of criminal liability

READ: House panel swiftly okays lower age of criminal liability 

Despite possible differences, Aquino said that he is very happy with Aksyon Demokratiko’s ensorsement of all eight Otso Diretso bets.

“So, the fact na lahat kami ay na-endorse ng Aksyon (that all of us were edorsed by Aksyon) is a big victory for the Otso Diretso slate,” he said. /ee

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TAGS: “Otso Diretso”, 2019 midterm elections, Aksyon Demokratiko, Philippine news updates, Senator Bam Aquino
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