Awareness drive for Teddy Casiño-A A +A
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
THE campaign spots of my two favorite senatorial bets, Teddy Casiño and Risa Hontiveros, are now being aired on major TV networks, which show they have either gotten the financial support needed for these or their friends are shouldering the expenses. I like this development because traditional politicians or their relatives (sons, daughters, wife) have been dominating this aspect of the campaign for the May elections.
Hontiveros’s spots are short but they are catchy and play up her likeable demeanor. Those of Teddy present, as expected, his advocacies.
Hontiveros’s Akbayan is allied with President Noynoy Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP) so she is with the administration senatorial slate, Team PNoy. She almost won a senate seat in the 2010 polls, placing 13th. With the machinery that she is able to ride on and the support that she gained in her previous run, I say Risa would be fine.
“Ka Teddy,” learning from the lessons of the failed senatorial run of Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza (his former party-list comrades in the House of Representatives), is carrying the banner of the progressive Makabayan coalition. It is a better setup than the one Ocampo and Maza were placed, aligning with the Nacionalista Party of then presidential candidate Manny Villar and brushing elbows with Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
With Casiño’s solo run, I therefore expected a better “awareness campaign” effort by militants nationwide for the Makabayan bet. If the Cebu experience is to be used as gauge since the campaign period opened a couple of weeks ago, I would say they could have done a better job.
I agree with the view of a former activist that Ka Teddy is very saleable. In a way he is elite—-born of well-off parents and schooled in premier institutions like De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines. But he isn’t trapo considering his work with workers (Kilusang Mayo Uno) and affiliation with the party-list group Bayan Muna.
And he has the support of a nationwide network of militants and progressives from Luzon down to the Visayas and Mindanao. This network has in its fold people who are both committed and aware. Almost every province in the country has this network that, if used well, could be used to raise awareness of Casiño’s candidacy and his advocacies.
The key is to maximize the effort. The focus is not to conduct the campaign on a captured audience (meaning within militant and progressive groups) but to prod this captured audience to bring the campaign to the millions of voters who are not yet aware of Casiño and his candidacy. Ka Teddy, per surveys, has still to crack the top 20 popular senatorial bets. He can be pushed up by aggressive and creative use of machinery.
I won’t have to outline what I mean by “creative.” Of all the groups in the country, the militants are the most knowledgeable of “propaganda” work (the quotation marks mean that my stress is on the word’s positive meaning). After all, the decades of struggle that they waged have allowed them to master the use of various awareness-raising activities---rekorida, leafletering, op-od, etc. to name a few.
Ka Teddy has to continue engaging in traditional election campaign, of course. So paying for campaign spots on TV, postering, shaking hands with people, forging of alliances with politicians, etc. are par for the course. But the use of nationwide machinery and non-traditional forms of campaign must not be forgotten.
And the effort should be all-out. As we say in Cebu, puslan mang maligo, manglugod na lang.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2013.