Robredo unfazed by tough road ahead for opposition bets
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday that the administration candidates’ domination of recent survey results was nothing new, as it has always had the upper hand since the election season began.
Robredo noted though that the Otso Diretso candidates’ experience was also similar to her status three years ago — rising from being a relatively unknown candidate to winning the vice presidency in 2016.
“That’s how it is,” Robredo, speaking in Filipino, told reporters in Masbate. “Right from the start, they were really ahead. And that was really our expectation because they have all the resources, they have been given all the opportunities, and all the local officials were taking care of them.”
“This is the same thing I went through in politics – alway the underdog at the start. But there’s always been one lesson: The voices citizens prevail — the ordinary people, not the officials of the country,” she added.
According to a recent Pulse Asia survey released on Tuesday, only one opposition candidate — reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino, who was ranked 13th — made it to the top 15. Closest to Aquino was former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who occupied the 16th spot.
Meanwhile, 10 of the candidates in the top 15 were endorsed by either President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban line-up or Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago, including front-runner Sen. Cynthia Villar.
After Roxas, the closest ranked Otso Diretso candidate is Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc at 26, followed by human rights lawyer Chel Diokno at 27, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal at 28, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano at 29, former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada at 30, and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay at 32.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the high rankings of administration bets only showed how strong Duterte’s endorsement could be.
Still, Robredo believes that voters can turn the tide even with just 12 days left, asking them not to waste the chance to elect candidates who could supposedly provide solutions to the country’s problems.
“I hope they don’t wast the opportunity. Every election is an opportunity for us to pick official who are deserving to be our representatives. I hope that we look at elections as an opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard,” she said.
“We have many complaints against politics. We have complaints against the government,” she added. “But we haven’t changed the way we pick our officials. I hope that this time we look at the elections as a time to decide what kind of future we want — a time to pick out the representatives who will embody our believes, our values, who we think should be our voice in the government.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.