Local execs ‘hiding’ from Otso Diretso for fear of reprisal, says Alejano
BACOLOD CITY – Some local officials have been hiding from the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates out of fear of reprisals from President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I cannot mention them, (but) it’s all over the country,” Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo partylist) said here today.
Alejano was on the campaign trail in Bacolod with former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno and civil society leader Samira Gutoc of the Otso Diretso team.
Senator Bam Aquino was represented by his wife, Timi, former senator Mar Roxas by his cousin Margarita Fores and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal by his son-in-law, lawyer Ace Bautista.
Alejano, who said they were bringing their campaign directly to the people, pointed out that it is a reality that even in the past, politicians did not want to be associated with the opposition.
“But now it is very pronounced kasi tinatakot na ng presidente ang hindi susuporta sa administrasyon at kung susuporta ka pa sa opposition (because the president is intimidating those who do not support the administration, what more if you support the opposition),” he said.
“So a lot of them are playing it safe because they do not want to be marked by the person in power because he is ‘pikon’ and scaring those officials sitting in office,” Alejano said.
That is why, Alejano said, he praises local politicians who are brave and are willing to host them because that means they are not afraid.
“This election is a fight for the future of our country,” he said in stressing the need to vote opposition senatorial candidates into office in May.
Alejano said in the last nine to 10 days of their senatorial campaign, the feedback from the people has been good.
He said they were campaigning in vote-rich Negros on Friday because solid votes from the province would have a big effect on the Otso Diretso bets’ chances of winning, he said.
Tañada said local officials hiding from them is a reality they have to face because “all the local officials have transferred to the administration party and they also have the fear that if they are seen with the candidates of the opposition they would suffer some reprisal.
“I think that is the reality that we have to face but I’m sure these local officials will also help us one way or the other silently as the days go,” he added.
The Otso Diretso bets also aired their opposition against import liberalization of sugar industry that they said would kill the local sugar industry. They also gave their support to the restoration of the Negros Island Region.
They also slammed what they called the administration’s deadly drug war, which is undermining the country’s judicial system. /lzb
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