MONEY, popularity and bailiwick are no assurance of victory during an election, a local official said.

Yesterday, the 560 barangay councilors in Cebu City attended a seminar on “How to Win an Election” in preparation for the synchronized barangay and youth elections on Oct. 25.

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Garry Matias, a training specialist and a councilor of Parañaque City, said money, popularity as well as a mass base will not ensure one’s victory during elections, contrary to common belief.

“Even if you put these all together, you still cannot have automatic victory. Although, this will give the candidate an advantage, you cannot still be assured of a sure win,” he said.

“There is no such thing as a sure formula for winning,” he added.

Speaking before the Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines (BCLP) Cebu City Chapter yesterday, Matias said one who plans to join the election fray should lay down plans for his or her campaign in order to win.

“Even if you have money, the popularity and the mass base, it will have no effect if you have no plan. Even if you have skills and knowledge, it will have no effect if you have no plans,” he said.

In launching a successful campaign, Matias said a candidate must first recruit staff, specifically whom he or she trusts.

After the recruitment, Matias said the staff should be trained, organized and structured.

The staff, he said, will draft the election campaign plan, have it critiqued, finalized, adopted, launched, evaluated and adjusted in the campaign period.

“You must be a lion king. Your campaign must roar and your followers must roar with you,” Matias said.

Amid all these, however, Matias reminded barangay officials that joining the election is all about timing.

“Because timing is knowing, knowing when to run and whom to run against. Run to win, not to lose,” he said.

Matias said waiting for the right opportunity to run is also important for a politician.

“When the incumbent is at his weakest, strike; and when you strike, strike to wipe him out from the world of politics with no return,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Rama told the barangay councilors not to buy votes while campaigning.

“Ayaw sugdi ang kampanya ug kwarta ug ayaw sad gyud mo pangwarta. Sugdi ang inyong hunahuna nga maayo (Don’t start the campaign with cheating. Start with good intentions),” he said

“Victory without buying is real victory that is lasting. Victory with buying is defeat and loss of your dignity,” Rama added. (PDF)