THE attention given by President Rodrigo Duterte to the Otso Diretso senatorial slate shows that the candidates have a shot in the 2019 midterm polls, said Vice President Leni Robredo.
On Monday, March 4, Duterte launched a tirade against the opposition senatorial slate, saying “they have not done anything for the country but criticize [the administration] and are all headed directly to hell.”
Reacting to the said tirades, Robredo said that the President’s effort to name the senatorial bets one by one was a “good sign” that they are picking up in their campaign.
“Kung hindi naman sila relevant, hindi na sila papansinin. Kung hindi sila pinapansin ng mga tao, hindi na sila pag-aaksayahan ng panahon ng Pangulo, pero the mere fact na nag-aksaya ng panahon para isa-isahin sila, gustong sabihin may laban iyong aming mga kandidato (If they are not relevant, they wouldn’t be given any attention by people. The President wouldn’t spend time on them and pick them one by one. But that means our candidates have a fight),” said Robredo during his visit in Bulacan.
Robredo, in turn, also stood by the candidates’ competence and character, saying that their track records and credibility disprove the Duterte’s claim against them.
“Ang aming mga kandidato, marami na itong track record na pinanindigan. Iyon talaga iyong basehan namin kung bakit silang walo iyong napili. Tingin ko ultimately iyong magiging basehan naman iyong track record. Kasi kapag sinabi mong ‘wala itong ginagawa,’ tingnan natin iyon (Our candidates have track records which are the basis why the eight were chosen. The way I look at it, track record is the basis. And when they say they did nothing, let’s look at that then),” she said.
Robredo, who squeezes in some time to introduce the Otso Diretso candidates during her regular multi-sectoral forums, also reiterated her support for Otso Diretso’s call for a debate with administration candidates.
“Kaya humihingi ng debate para makita iyong plataporma ng pamumuno. Iyon naman iyong dahilan kung bakit kailangan nasa isang entablado iyong mga kandidato: para iyong itinatanong sa kanila, iyong mga relevant na mga issues. Kasi kung hindi iyong taumbayan ng pagkakataon na marinig sila, paano nila malalaman kung sino iyong karapat-dapat botohan? (We are asking for a debate to see the platform of governance. That is the reason why a candidate should be there on the stage to answer relevant issues they would be asked for the people to hear them and know who to vote?)” she said.
“Ang problema—nakita naman natin iyong mga iba’t ibang media outlets, mga TV networks, nag-sponsor ng debates—maraming mga kandidato, hindi pumupunta. Kasi kung pumupunta sila, hindi na kinakailangang hamunin (the problem is, we have seen different media outlets and TV networks sponsoring debates but a lot of candidates don’t come and if they do, they wouldn’t have to be challenged),” Robredo added.