Negative campaign vs. PRRD backfired at Otso Diretso: analyst

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

May 18, 2019, 9:45 pm

MANILA -- The jabs of the opposition bloc Otso Diretso against President Rodrigo Duterte have only benefitted the administration's senatorial bets after its candidates failed to make it to the top 12 senators in the mid-term elections, a political analyst said Saturday.

Based on partial, unofficial results from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as of May 18, Bam Aquino, staying at 14th spot, has the most number of votes at 14,074,404 among the eight candidates carried by the Otso Diretso.

"Mayroon silang fundamental na mistake sa strategy. Unang-una, midterm election 'yan, ang presidente hindi tumatakbo pero malaki ang impluwensya niya (They have a fundamental mistake in their strategy. Firstly, this is the midterm elections, the president is not running but his influence is great)," Prof. Ramon Casiple, executive director of Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, told the Philippine News Agency.

Casiple said this strategy is bound to backfire as President Rodrigo Duterte is backed by a large number of supporters and has recently garnered a record-high of 81 percent satisfaction rating from Filipinos in the first quarter of 2019.

"The President is popular. Tinarget nila ang Presidente, hindi naman tumatakbo 'yon. Nakalimutan ng Otso Diretso na ang kalaban nila, nandoon sa field, nangangampanya, nagpapaganda ng imahe, etc. (They targeted the president who is not even running for a position. Otso Diretso was not able to fully pay attention to its rivals who are in the field campaigning, etc.)," he added.

In the partial, official tally of the votes from 146 Certificates of Canvass or 91.80% of registered voters as of 7:16 p.m. Friday, re-electionist Senator Cynthia Villar has maintained her lead among the senatorial bets in the May 13 mid-term polls, with 23,610,580 votes.

Trailing are fellow re-electionist Senator Grace Poe, with 20,711,849 votes; Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, with 19,030,884; Pia Cayetano, with 18,550,012; Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, with 17,567,258; Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, with 17,027,333; and Lito Lapid, with 15,778,223.

Following them are Imee Marcos, with 14,775,948 votes; Francis Tolentino, with 14,387,602; Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, with 13,563,083; Nancy Binay, with 13,453,117; Bong Revilla Jr., with 13,442,578, and Bam Aquino in 13th place with 13,384,293 votes. (PNA)