PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III acknowledged Tuesday that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte won over his rivals because of the Davao City mayor team's "very masterful way" to campaign him in the May 9 polls.
In an exclusive interview with online news Rappler, Aquino admitted that Duterte edged out his preferred successor, former Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, because he had a "better" campaign.
"So we really have to hand it to them that they mounted a better campaign. It was the right tone, right messaging, and the right time," the President said.
Initially, Duterte filed a certificate of candidacy for mayor in Davao but later on sought the presidency when he substituted the original candidate of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption chairman Martin Diño.
Duterte was elected president, getting 16,601,997 votes. He is ahead of Roxas by 6,623,822 votes.
Despite this, Aquino said he was not ashamed that Roxas lost to Duterte because he had also gained the public's trust, as shown in his improved ranking in the surveys conducted before the May 9 polls.
"Perhaps, in a sense, not to take away anything from the success of the campaigns that actually won, they (Duterte and his team) were really able to differentiate their selves from against the pack," Aquino said.
"[But] from the number four in the survey to the number two is I think nothing to be ashamed about. Perhaps, there should have been a better effort (on the part of Roxas) somewhere earlier and might have resulted in the difference," he added. (Sunnex)