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Otso Diretso fiasco: Gutoc blames lack of name recall

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 01:20 PM May 22, 2019
Otso Diretso slate wins senatorial race in Naga City

Madalo Rep. Gary Alejano (left) takes a group shot on stage at the UP Diliman Sunken Garden in this May 8, 2019, photo. With him (going right, front) are human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, (from left, back) Sen. Bam Aquino, former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. (Photo by GABRIEL PABICO LALU / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — Losing opposition senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc on Wednesday said “invisibility” caused the fall of first-time Otso Diretso bets.

“Literally, chopper vs tricycle,” the Marawi-based civic leader used this logic in an interview over  ANC’s “Early Edition” when asked how the opposition bets failed to secure Senate seats in terms of strategy versus those candidates backed by the administration.

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Gutoc, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, veteran election lawyer Romy Macalintal, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, former Solicitor General Florin “Pilo” Hilbay were among the new names in the senatorial race.

Meanwhile, only two Otso Diretso bets: reelectionist Paolo “Benigno” Bam Aquino IV and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, were already familiar with voters.

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Three winners in the recently concluded senatorial elections were also “new faces,” namely: Christopher “Bong” Go, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino.

“I was hearing one candidate every week nasa Cebu siya, and we were just once or twice, thrice in Cebu, which is vote-rich with 2.3 million votes,” Gutoc said. “Can you imagine yung lack sa aming travel? As early as November, meron na silang undue advantage. Nakita mo naman sa Edsa, on buses, nakadikit na yung mga mukha nila.”

“So, in terms of kulang, dun kami kulang [introduction of names],” Gutoc said. “Otso Diretso was the brand but the name recall was difficult.”

Gutoc also pointed out that administration-backed senatorial candidates were “really name-recalled,” saying that they either came from political dynasties or from showbiz.

“We didn’t have their 30-year record,” Gutoc said. She cited returning senator Lito Lapid, whom she said was “an institution in the acting industry.”

“Konti pang artista at that time and mga business persons umiiwas pa, we couldn’t get as much ads,” Gutoc said. “There were so many factors against us.”

Five incumbent senators, three first-time and four former senators were proclaimed as winners in the senatorial race in the 2019 mid-term polls.

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Eight of them, namely Cynthia Villar, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Christopher “Bong” Go, Francis Tolentino, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara and Imee Marcos were endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte. (Editor: Cenon B. Bibe Jr.)

READ: 5 reelectionists, 4 returning, 3 new faces proclaimed senators

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TAGS: elections 2019, news, Otso Diretso, Samira Gutoc
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