Former President Benigno Aquino III (center, in yellow shirt) with six of the Otso Diretso candidates at the People Power Monument on Edsa. From left are former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, human rights lawyer Jose Romulo “Chel” Diokno, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, and Sen. Bam Aquino. (Photo by GABRIEL PABICO LALU / INQUIRER.net)
MANILA, Philippines — Former President Benigno Aquino III calls on voters disgruntled with the Duterte administration to vote for senatorial candidates from the Otso Diretso slate in the May 2019 elections.
If candidates backed by President Rodrigo Duterte would win in the upcoming elections, it would send a signal that he was steering the country in the correct direction, Aquino warned during a program at the People Power Monument on Saturday.
“Saan ba tayo tutungo? Midterm elections: Pag bumoto ka sa ka-alyado ng administrasyon or ‘yong mga inendorso nila, eh ‘di sinabi mo na ring tama po lahat ng ginawa niyo. Ituloy po niyo, lalo pa niyong pa-igtingin,” Aquino said.
[Where are we headed? Midterm elections: If you vote for allies of the administration or those whom they are endorsing, it’s like you’re saying that what they’re doing is right. So keep on doing it and give more effort to it.]
“Kung hindi naman kayo sang-ayon, eh doon na tayo sa maliwanag. Dito diretso, Otso Diretso,” he added.
[But if you’re not in agreement, then let’s choose what’s clear. This is straight, Otso Diretso.]
During the program, Aquino raised the hands the Otso Diretso senatorial bets — former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, and Sen. Bam Aquino as an endorsement.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal left earlier for another engagement, while former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas skipped the event to take care of his newborn twins.
Aquino also took a swipe at candidates who were endorsed by the administration and yet have maintained independence, comparing them to the Otso Diretso slate whom he claimed were firm in denouncing the policies of the President.
“Hindi pwedeng i-endorso ka ng administrasyon tapos sasabihin mo: ‘Iendorso lang ako pero salungat ako sa ginagawa nila. Parang malabo yata. Tinanggap mo ‘yong endorsement, ibig sabihin sang-ayon ka,” he said.
[You can’t allow the administration to endorse you and then say: I was only endorsed, but I’m against what they’re doing. That sounds vague. If you accept the endorsement, it means you agree with them.]
“So kayo na ang magsabi. Pag talaga naman pong nanalo pa, talagang una kong sasabihin sa sarili ko: Ito na yata talaga ‘yong fool me twice. Sobrang shame on us,” he added.
[So it’s up to you. If they still win, I will be the first to say to myself: We’ve been fooled twice situation. It’s really a shame on us.] /atm
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