5 May 2019

WITH a week to go before the May 13 elections, Otso Diretso senatorial candidates on Sunday campaigned in Quezon City with its over 1.15 million registered voters.

After meeting with running priest Fr. Robert Reyes at Welcome Rotonda, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Romy Macalintal, and Erin Tañada sought the votes of tricycle drivers, market vendors, and informal settlers, and met with Catholic and Muslim leaders.

Macalintal, an election lawyer, reminded voters to prepare their sample ballots or “kodigos” that they can take inside the voting precincts.

“Hindi totoo na bawal ang sample ballot o kodigo. Pwedeng magdala ng sample ballot sa ilalim ng Omnibus Election Code…Dalhin ang kodigo sa pagboto sa Mayo 13,” said Macalintal.

Macalintal and Gutoc said that given that the slate campaign does not enough money for television spots and numerous sorties, OtsoDiretso is continuing with its person-to-person campaign with the help of volunteers.

Gutoc also called on local and foreign election monitors to guard the election process so that the people’s votes are counted.

“Ang tunay na kampanya ay pagpunta sa masa. Hindi tawanan, hindi sayawan. Kami ay bumababa sa taumbayan. Ang maghahalal sa atin, hindi tarpaulin, kundi ang masa at pangkaraniwang Pilipino,” said Diokno.

Tañada recalled the 1978 elections, the first after martial law was declared, when people voted for the opposition until the government intervened so that administration candidates, led by dictator’s wife Imelda Marcos, were declared winners in Congress.

“Pinakita po ng tao ang pagtutol nila sa administrasyon. Ngayon, dito sa Welcome Rotonda, handa ang Otso Diretso, tatayo, ipaglalaban ang interes ng taumbayan,” said Tañada.

Together with the surrogates of Gary Alejano, Bam Aquino, Pilo Hilbay, and Mar Roxas, the Otso Diretso candidates shook the hands of Batasan tricycle operators and drivers at their terminal at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and IBP Road.

They then met with Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias and Sultan Hadji Nhur They also visited the Susano and General Luis Markets before meeting with urban-poor leaders of the Alyansa ng Maralita sa Novaliches.

Strong finish

For his part, Liberal Party president and Otso Diretso campaign manager Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged the voters to write in their “kodigo” the eight names of the slate — Gary Alejano, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Florin Hilbay, Romy Macalintal, Mar Roxas and Erin Tanada.

Pangilinan thanked the volunteers and supporters of Otso Diretso, who have risked their lives and limbs, and shelled out money and whatever rsources they can contribute, to run the campaign.

“Kusang-loob sila, at tumataya. Sila na mismo ang humahakbang, pag iyong taong bayan na ang tumataya, ang taong bayan na ang naninindigan, walang ano mang maaring maging hadlang pag ang taong bayan ang tumaya,” Pangilinan said during his guesting on the service-oriented radio program of Vice President Leni Robredo on radio DZXL.

On May 6, Monday, they will have a provincial miting de avance at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Cavite.

On May 8, Wednesday, a thanksgiving concert will be held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

On May 9, Thursday, the Otso Diretso bets will spearhead a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m., rallying the people to light a candle in front of their houses for honest, orderly, and clean elections.

On May 10, Friday, the Otso Diretso bets will be at a Mothers’ Day press conference.

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