Ang Kapatiran Party now sets sights on 2016 polls
MANILA, Philippines — The fight continues for Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) in 2016.
Partial unofficial tally of votes as of 3 p.m. Tuesday showed that the party’s three senatorial bets, John Carlos Delos Reyes, Rizalito David and Marwil Llasos, ranked 25th, 29th and 31st in the 2013 senatorial race.
“We will prepare for 2016,” said Delos Reyes, who is also the AKP president.
“With the dynasts and trapos (traditional politicians) elected, the battle has just begun,” he said.
Ask if he would again run for a government post, Delos Reyes said: “It depends on the party. I as an advocate of responsible party politics will see if they nominate me.”
“And if my wife Dunia and my children would agree and could still bear the thought of another election to push the politics of the common good,” he added.
“I am happy about introducing a different kind of politics, one that is worthy of our heroes who died for this country and one that brings hope for the next generation,” Delos Reyes said.
David, on the other hand, said he might later on consider filing an electoral protest as he cited anomalies and irregularities during the canvassing of votes.
“We will ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to issue a rundown of votes cast on all PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines in all precincts. If it fails to produce that, then we may have to file a protest,” David said, stressing that they were expecting Kapatiran candidates to fetch around four to six million votes.
“In 2010, we hardly had any exposure in media and were likewise up against more and tougher opponents yet I got more than half a million votes. In 2013 [our] exposure was better and the opponents were less in number and capabilities, yet we are getting lesser share in the votes,” he explained, adding that they had more supporters and endorsements particularly from the Catholic lay organizations.
“Only a miracle will make us win, I am particularly aware of that. But not this way. Bastusan na yan. I have seen so much manipulation of the count before for me to simply accept the kind that they are showing us now,” he posted on his official Facebook account.
He said the automated system has only worsened electoral fraud.
“Automated na din yung dayaan kasi wala nang paper trail. Hindi mo na alam sino ang nagma-manipulate (The cheating is automated because it has no paper trail. You don’t know who is manipulating),” he added.
“If we continue to accept this continuing electoral travesty without even the smallest cry of protest then we might as well give up even the semblance of freedom that we have and forever submit ourselves to the wishes of the unseen hands running our national life. I would like to believe that we still deserve the blood of the heroes and saints that were sacrificed for our national salvation,” he said in another Facebook post.
“Before we finally go back to our usual lives, let us think and reason out together, discern and act collectively. The streets are not a hostile place to manifest our collective sentiments,” he added.
Meanwhile, Llasos on Tuesday morning conceded defeat in the 2013 elections, a day after Election Day and ahead of the official canvassing by the Comelec.
“I harbored no illusion of winning. What I did was to make a brave, principled and faith-impelled stand for our people, country and faith,” he posted on his Twitter account @iluvmarwilop.
“It will take a miracle to get 10 million votes. I’m not even sure if I could even get one million votes,” he said when told that the Comelec hasn’t even started its official canvassing yet.
“As I’ve said before, to win in the elections is only a bonus. Other candidates were hard-sell, they have to win at all cost. My experience during the campaign matters more, it was very educational for me. Sasama ang loob ko kung gumastos ako ng limpak-limpak na salapi. Eh P200,000 lang naman ang nagastos ko, kaya okay lang (I would have felt bad if I spent tons of money. Well, I only spent P200,000, so it’s ok),” Llasos added.
“It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. It is better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all,” he said in another Twitter post on Tuesday.
However, Llasos was quick to add that he was conceding but not necessarily waiving his right to question the anomalies and irregularities he witnessed during the elections. He did not elaborate, saying he would raise it to proper venue.
The 37-year-old Llasos said he had no rancor or bitterness for losing in the midterm elections.
“I have never felt so much peace as I have now. In fact, I had a good night sleep,” he said. “It’s time to pick up the pieces and move on, go back to my normal routine. I am thankful the election is over.”
But he admitted that he felt a little sad that the endorsement given to him by various Catholic lay groups, including the White Vote Movement led by the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai, did not work in his favor.
“I was looking at the numbers, votes for me did not even reach one million considering that I was endorsed by various groups,” he said. “It’s just sad that the manner by which most voters chose their candidates was not qualifications-based.”
But Llasos said he was thankful for all those who believed in and voted for him.
With the elections over, Llasos said he would look for a job “because the people did not hire me.”
Llasos’ decision to run for the Senate cost him his job.
Before he joined politics, Llasos worked for Ideals (Initiative for Dialogue and Empowerment Through Alternative Legal Services), a non-governmental organization, which provides legal aid to farmers and migrant workers, pushes environmental protection, among other causes.
Asked if he would again run for a government position in the future, Llasos said: “I still don’t know; but you see, my candidacy was not even planned…. In the future, I might again fight and see if people are already ready [for new politics]. Who knows, in God’s time, it will come.”
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