Negative campaigning hurting Otso — Hugpong ng Pagbabago

Sara Duterte-Carpio

THE opposition candidates’ tactic of negative campaigning is not boosting their chances of winning.

This is according to Hugpong ng Pagbabago founder and chairman Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her ally Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco.

In a statement, Duterte-Carpio said the Otso Diretso candidates, particularly Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, should not attack other candidates on the issue of honesty because they are themselves liars.

Duterte-Carpio said the opposition candidates use inaccurate, misleading statements to attack candidates of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, most of whom are doing good in the surveys.

“I’m helping the Black Hole candidates dig themselves out of their own hole when I say honesty should not be an issue. They use inaccurate, misleading statements and even direct lies when they attack other candidates or President Duterte and they know they are stretching the truth and yet they deny that they are lying,” the presidential daughter said.

“That is the reason why they should not attack other candidates about honesty because they are themselves liars. And this is the truth. And this shows in their dismal performance in the race, people know they are not truthful,” she added.

For his part, Velasco said the opposition candidates are alienating the electorate for focusing on criticism rather than presenting their programs and positive traits.

“More than helping them, I believe that the negative campaign of the opposition is hurting them,” said Velasco, who is part of the campaign caravan of the HNP.

The HNP is supporting 13 candidates: former MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino; former broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad; re-electionists  Sens. Sonny Angara; Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito and Koko Pimentel; Ilocos Gov. Imee Marcos; former PNP chief Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa; Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano; Maguindanao Rep. Dong Mangudadatu; former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go; and former Sens. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and  Jinggoy Estrada.

Velasco urged the candidates to just focus on their platform and issues and not on other candidates.

“The voters want to hear what the candidates can do to improve their lives, what the candidates can offer to provide jobs and what the candidates have to say on health care. Hopefully they would focus on these important issues to help the electorate decide in the coming election,” he said.

According to Velasco, the Duterte Administration is making headway in fulfilling its promises, such as the exemption from paying individual income tax returns of some 7.5 million people, increase in unconditional cash transfer, fuel subsidies to PUJ operators, universal health care, free college education and the massive infrastructure projects that generate jobs.