CEBU

No local allies? Otso Diretso bets rely on volunteers

CEBU. Otso Diretso candidates at Plaza Independencia, Cebu City on Sunday, April 28, 2019. (Amper Campana)

ONLY two weeks are left before the May 13 elections, but local allies of Liberal Party (LP) have yet to show up in Otso Diretso’s campaign sorties.

For the third time since the campaign period for national candidates started last February, the opposition’s senatorial slate visited Cebu again on Sunday, April 28, to woo the province’s three million voters.

The event at the Plaza Independencia was spearheaded by Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon and was graced by Vice President Leni Robredo.

Despite Robredo’s presence and Otso Diretso’s slate in complete attendance, local political allies of LP were still a no-show.

Robredo said their local allies’ absence was not a surprise.

“We expected that since day one... given the political climate right now and we try to understand that,” she told reporters.

A list of candidates from the Commission on Elections’ website showed that LP allies in Cebu include Gov. Hilario Davide III who is running for vice governor; reelectionist Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu, north), second district Provincial Board (PB) member aspirant Jonathan Villegas, reelectionist PB Member Horacio Franco III (4th district), seventh district PB bet Erick Gica and Aloguinsan vice mayoral bet Danilo Margallo.

Davide was in the northern town of San Francisco on Sunday with his running mate, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, for their group’s campaign sortie.

According to Robredo, most of their group’s campaign events were initiated by volunteers.

Some of their local allies are helping “in some ways,” she said.

“This, though, is a political reality that we must accept. It shouldn’t be a source of grudge because there are several factors why the political climate is like this,” Robredo said in Tagalog.

During the event, Otso Diretso candidate Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said the vote-rich province of Cebu will help their slate win.

“We still have two weeks, a lot of things can happen. As we made our campaign rounds, the people quietly professed that they’re for Otso Diretso because they are afraid,” he added.

Otso Diretso is composed of reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino, former senator Mar Roxas, lawyers Romy Macalintal, Florin Hilbay, Erin Tañada and Chel Diokno, and former Bangsamoro Transition Commission member Samira Gutoc.

Ahon Laylayan Sugbu head former interior and local government undersecretary Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez said the Cebuanos will help Otso Diretso.

“Our thirst and hunger can’t compare to our yearning to oust and stop the dictatorship... Let’s say that if by chance here in Cebu Otso Diretso gets zero votes, they will become more haughty. But if we vote straight for Otso Diretso, maybe we can knock them out here in Cebu... Let’s show them on May 13 that Cebuanos are brave and can’t be fooled,” Fernandez said in Cebuano in his speech.

Senior Insp. Joemar Pomarejos, station commander of the Waterfront Police, said some 2,000 people joined the event. (RTF)


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