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Amid friction in the opposition, Pangilinan reminds allies to focus on May polls

/ 03:23 PM April 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan has reminded his allies in the opposition not to be distracted by the discord within the team and instead focus on the upcoming elections.

Pangilinan, who is also Otso Diretso’s campaign manager, said Wednesday that their opponent is not from the team, but rather their counterpart in the administration slate.

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“Let’s keep our eyes on the ball,” he said.

“Buong tapang at kilos nating harapin ang ating pangunahing mga katunggali sa halalan at ito ang mga kandidato ng administrasyon at ang kanilang pananahimik o pambubusabos sa usapin ng kaban ng bayan, ng pananakop ng China sa ating mga karagatan, at sa tuloy-tuloy na kawalan ng sapat na hanapbuhay at trabaho para ating mga kababayan,” he added.

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(With courage, we will face our opponents in this election, the administration candidates and their continued silence on issues confronting our country, including China’s encroachment into our waters, and the lack of opportunities for our people.)

He asked members of the opposition to place importance not only winning a Senate seat but on how they would attain it.

“The way we achieve our goals is as important as the goals,” Pangilinan said. “Let us be conscientious in not becoming the monsters we wish to defeat.”

Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice, campaign manager of senatorial bet Mar Roxas, earlier admitted that they are ditching the color yellow this time — a brand built around former President Benigno Aquino III.

Erice also said they were intentionally distancing themselves from the rest of the Otso Diretso candidates who have criticized President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to Erice, while they agree with the principles of the other seven bets, they discovered that those who criticize the President have a lower ranking in surveys, and Roxas often bears the ire of Duterte.

READ: Otso handlers: Struggle is real; last stretch will be ugly

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After Erice issued these statements, celebrity and actress Kris Aquino, sister of the former president, jumped into the fray, saying Roxas lost because he was ‘no match’ for Duterte.

READ: Kris Aquino twits Mar Roxas aide: Don’t blame Noy for defeat

This was accompanied by rumors that the rift between Roxas and reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, which goes all the way back to the 2016 presidential elections, has not been settled.

However, Pangilinan said these issues pale in comparison to the urgency of the elections.

“Ang nakataya sa eleksyong ito ay ang kinabukasan ng ating bansa. Alam natin na patuloy ang pambabalahura sa ating karagatan, sa mga karaniwang Pilipinong walang-laban, at sa mga institusyon ng gobyerno at batas, ” the senator said.

(What is at stake in this election is the future of our country. We know that our fight for our territorial waters continues, as well as our continuing obligation to the Filipino people, the institutions of government, and the law.)

“Alam natin na ang pagmumura, pambabastos, at ang pagkakalat ng kasinungalingan ay mga panlihis sa mga tunay at araw-araw na krisis ng sikmura ng ating mga kababayan upang iwasan ang usapan at itago ang mga kapalpakan at ang kurakot at pagnanakaw,” he added.

(We know, too, that cursing and other forms of disrespect and peddling lies are means to distract us from the crises we are facing and to avoid discussions on corruption in government.) /ee

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TAGS: 2019 midterm elections, Otso Diretso, Philippine news updates, Senator Francis Pangilinan
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