CANDIDATES of the “OtsoDiretso” opposition coalition on Wednesday challenged the pro-Duterte administration hopefuls to debates so that the public could see where they stood on pressing issues in the Philippines.
For Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, those who topped the recent survey should also prove their competence through public discussions so that voters may get to know them better.
“Kung top performers silasa survey dapat top discussants din sila (If they are top performers in the survey, they should also be top discussants). Please allow yourselves to be subject to public scrutiny,” Gutoc told reporters in a news briefing in Quezon City.
Taking a swipe at unnamed candidates, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said these personalities may be afraid of being judged for their positions.
“Sa tinginkoyungibangkandidato may takotnamaresibuhansila. Halimbawa, may tumatakbodiyan para samahirap, para sa masa pero may record naman ng pandarambong Hilbay said.”
(In my opinion, other candidates are afraid that the voting public will take note of anything contradictory that they might say. For example, there are some who are running for the poor but have a record of plunder cases.)
Hugpong ng Pagbabago (Hugpong) candidates and former senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. were accused of plunder in the multi-million peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. Estrada was granted bail in 2017 while Revilla was acquitted.
“’Yung pinakamaingaysakanila, ‘yunyung [sumalisa debate]. Para malamannatinsinoangnagsasabi ng totoo at sinoangnambobola,” Macalintal added.
(Whoever’s the noisiest should be equally active in the debate. So that we can set apart those who are true to their promises and those who are just bluffing.)
Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno wants to have another face-off with Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, in time for the upcoming 33rd anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
During GMA News’ senatorial debate aired early this month, Diokno and Marcos were put against each other to answer the issue of removing term limits for public officials in relation to possible abuse of political power. Diokno’s father, the late senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno, was an active human rights advocate who fought under the dictatorship of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
For Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, it isn’t enough that candidates are seen in huge tarpaulins or TV advertisements.
“Trabaho ng pagigingkongresistaangpagbalangkas ng mgabatas at polisiya. Kung hindisilasisipot, anongbasehan ng taongbayan?” he asked.
(Part of a lawmaker’s job is to put policies in the forefront. If they themselves could not prove that by showing up in debates, what will be the basis of the public in voting?)
So far, the OtsoDiretso bets composed of Gutoc, Hilbay, Macalintal, Alejano, Sen. Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada, and former Interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd have all been active in senatorial forums and campaign sorties in most of their bailiwicks.
Only Roxas, who has been absent in most of their group campaigns, has yet to be seen on national television to present his position on issues.
Results of the latest Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations survey showed Aquino and Roxas with higher chances of getting into the “Magic 12.”