By Ben Rosario
MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon —The scramble for a slot in the top 12 of the senatorial campaign has now shifted from political sorties to electronic media which could make wonders to candidates who were unable to get into the winning circle of various poll survey results.
Hugpong ng Pagbabago chairperson and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte underscored the importance of getting the television advertisement advantage in her last stretch campaign advice to members of the HNP senatorial team.
Duterte, apparently making her political experience in Davao City as a basis, said HNP senatorial candidates who failed to squeeze into the Magic 12 in poll surveys should also spend the remaining campaign days to visit vote-rich areas to increase their chances of winning.
“Sinabihan namin sila kasi sa mga surveys nakikita talaga na may advantage iyong may TV ads,” she told reporters during an interview here. (This was our advice because we saw the advantage of candidates with TV advertisements)
“Pwede din sila bumalik sa mga areas na maraming boto at nakikita nilang mahina sila,” she said. (They can go back to vote-rich areas and in areas where they have low support)
The HNP campaign manager also told those who are lagging behind to go back to local partners of the regional organization to seek stronger endorsement. Most of the local partners are based in Mindanao.
“Every vote counts,” Duterte told her candidates.
Recent results of poll surveys conducted by the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia had veteran broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad and peace advocate Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu placing below 15th spot.
Re-electionist Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and JV Ejercito are at the tail-end of the top 12.
However, Ejercito showed the strongest rebound among all candidates pursuing the top 12, as he bounced back from below 15 to a share of the 12th spot in the latest poll surveys.
Ejercito admitted that the boost in his ratings started when campaign donations from friends and family members, including his father, Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, started trickling in to fund his TV commercials.
Duterte admitted that it is “impossible” for her team to occupy all 12 contested spots but she is optimistic that majority of the winners will be coming from the 13-man senatorial bets the HNP is endorsing.
“IN reality, parang impossible,” she said. (In reality, it may be impossible)
The HNP senatorial candidates will be making their last push as a team in scheduled campaign sorties in Tawi-tawi, Jolo, Sulu and in Palawan, this week.
A final rally has been set in Camiguin on Monday before they finally make their individual sorties.
Duterte said Davao City will be the venue of the HNP team’s Miting de Avance that was tentatively scheduled three days prior to the May 13 elections.