Voters do not know Otso bets – Macalintal

A day after conceding defeat in the midterm polls, Otso Diretso Senate candidate Romulo Macalintal said part of their uphill battle during the campaign period was overcoming lack of voter’s awareness and getting known.

“Well talagang wala kaming magagawa (we can’t do anything). At least ‘yung mga sikat na sikat sa amin (the famous among us), si Mr. Mar Roxas at tsaka si Sen. Bam Aquino [may advantage], pero ‘yung six na natitira (the six remaining) we had to struggle hard,” Macalintal said in a news briefing in Manila on Wednesday.

Of the Otso Diretso bets, only reelectionist Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th has higher chances of getting into the winner’s circle, after climbing to the 12th spot on Wednesday, with 12,335,274 votes based on the partial and official results from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In the unofficial tally of election results, Aquino ranked 14th (13,722,749), the closest spot to the “Magic 12” for the opposition slate.

Former Interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd took the 16th spot with 9,548,553 votes in the unofficial tally.

Meanwhile, the six other candidates were at the 21st to 29th spot with human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno at the 21st, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano at the 23rd, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc at the 25th, Macalintal at the 26th, former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada at the 27th, and former solicitor general Florin Hilbay at the 29th spot.

Macalintal admitted that part of their strategy to gain further traction was to engage in public debates held by numerous media networks — a move that was considered unnecessary by most administration-backed candidates who have dominated the “Magic 12” so far.

Even survey results from Pulse Asia Research Inc. and Social Weather Stations on candidates most likely to win were dominated by administration candidates like Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.

“Kami hindi rin talaga nakikilala. Kailangan pa po talaga ‘yung awareness. ‘Di pa rin po sanay ang ating mga botante na mag-aral ng mga kandidato. ‘Di pa sila handang pag-aralan mga buhay ng mga kandidato (We were really not widely known. There really needs to be a sense of awareness. Voters still are not used to researching about candidates and learn about their lives),” Macalintal noted.

Otso Diretso candidates banked mostly on efforts of volunteers and key supporters who campaigned on their behalf.

Meanwhile, Makabayan Senate candidate Neri Colmenares refused to concede defeat Wednesday due to “unfair” electoral processes.

“It would have been easy to concede had I lost in a fair and honest elections. But this year’s elections were hardly fair or honest,” he said.

Colmenares placed 24th in the partial and unofficial tally of the Comelec with 4,588,758 votes as of Wednesday.

The senatorial bet cited the distribution of “black propaganda” materials by the PNP in various polling precincts on election day against progressive groups such as Bayan Muna, linking them to the New People’s Army.

He also said he had seen how government resources were used to promote pro-administration candidates, especially those favored by President Rodrigo, and how rules were violated including vote-buying, with the Comelec turning a blind eye.

Colmenares also cited the unprecedented failures in vote counting machines and SD cards, which caused the delay of transmission of data indicating results of the midterm polls.

Around 400 to 600 vote counting machines (VCMs) malfunctioned on Monday, thrice the number of 188 VCMs which were replaced in the 2016 elections and potentially disenfranchised 500,000 voters.

The Manila Times
Voters do not know Otso bets – Macalintal