United opposition only way to defeat admin slate – Juana Change
MANILA, Philippines — Activist-comedienne Mae “Juana Change” Paner said Tuesday that the only way to beat administration senatorial candidates in this year’s midterm election is for the opposition to get their acts together in unity.
On the sidelines of Otso Diretso’s sortie in Caloocan City, Paner called on former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to support his co-candidates in the opposition amid rumors of discord between him and the rest of the coalition’s senatorial bets.
Paner said Roxas should realize that a concerted effort is needed if the opposition wants to beat senatorial candidates backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Of the eight members of Otso Diretso, only Roxas was notably absent during Tuesday’s campaign activity. Roxas attended a send-off program in his hometown Capiz province.
“I’m serious about loving the country but really, feeling ko talaga in the time of tyranny, in the time of Duterte, we need each other. If we say we’re a team then we have to be a team,” Paner said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.
“But Mar Roxas needs a team to fight tyranny, he’s doing it alone, ‘di ba? But he needs a team and the team needs him. I think we all need each other,” she added.
During an earlier press conference, Paner turned emotional when she thought about the chances of Otso Diretso slate winning despite meager budget.
She shared a conversation between Otso Diretso campaign manager Senator Francis Pangilinan and senatorial bet Samira Gutoc, where it was revealed that Gutoc – a Marawi civic leader – was running out of mobile prepaid load.
Paner underscored this situation in contrast to Roxas’ ability to campaign.
“Pagpunta dito, ang lahat ng tarpaulin ang pinaka-marami Mar Roxas, ni walang Otso Diretso. Eh siya ang may pera eh, si Samira (Gutoc) nga walang load, ‘di ba ang sakit no’n pakinggan?” she asked.
But Roxas’ fellow Otso Diretso candidates as well as officials of Liberal Party said the former Interior Secretary’s absence in the Caloocan sortie should not be an issue.
Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice, who manages Roxas’ campaign, said the LP senatorial bet has a tradition of starting his candidacy in Capiz.
Since LP announced their first senatorial candidates last September 2018, Otso Diretso — then known as Oposisyon Koalisyon — has been complete only on two occasions. The first time was on January 10, during a trip to Roxas City in Capiz; and the second time was in Otso Diretso’s television advertisement.
Paner emphasized further that Otso Diretso closing ranks with other opposition senatorial aspirants would translate to a stronger force in the 2019 midterm elections.
“Ako I am for unity, I am for the Otso Diretso, plus Neri Colmenares, Jun Sabio, and Ka Leody de Guzman. That is really what I am hoping for. The only way we will win against Duterte is if we will get our acts together in unity,” she claimed.
“I have always told them, I cannot be just for LP, because if the LP sits, they will not just serve LP they are serving the whole country, and we better practice na. ‘Di ba, how can you say no to a Neri Colmenares, I mean that guy, red as he is, he’s always fighting for common people,” she added. /kga
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