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President Benigno Aquino III will play a “very active” role in campaigning for the administration coalition’s senatorial candidates in this year's midterm elections, the coalition’s campaign spokespersons said Tuesday.
Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, one of the campaign spokesmen, said Aquino will appear in all joint advertisements of the administration slate, which was called “Team PNoy” in the political ads.
“He [Aquino] will be part of our joint ads. Ang panawagan ng ating pangulo, kailangan piliin ang makatutulong sa kanya. Siya mismo ang mangangampanya para sa mga tao na makatutulong sa administrasyon niya,” Tañada said at a press briefing.
He added that he thinks the President’s endorsement will be “enough” to boost administration’s senatorial candidates’ chances of winning the Senate race.
GMA News Online asked Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco—secretary general of the administration’s rival ticket, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)—about the propriety of Aquino’s participation in political ads for the 2013 polls, but the lawmaker has not yet replied as of posting time.
On Monday, the administration coalition launched its first political ad, featuring Aquino himself warning against candidates supposedly posing as his supporters. Earlier this month, UNA also started airing a political advertisement featuring its own set of senatorial candidates. Both coalitions’ advertisements were aired ahead of the official campaign season, which is scheduled to start on February 12. The ruling coalition and UNA have three common candidates — reelectionists Francis 'Chiz' Escudero and Loren Legarda and former Movie and Television Review and Classificaiton Board chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Meanwhile, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, another administration campaign spokesman, said the President will also join sorties of the ruling coalition.
“The President will not only be visible in ads. He will also be very active sa campaign, but of course without sacrificing governance. As long as his schedule permits, he will be at the campaign trail,” Evardone said at the same press briefing.
He added that the administration ticket plans to target vote-rich cities in the country and to make use of social media in its campaign.
Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo, who will also speak for the administration ticket, said Aquino is “putting his remaining three years in office on the line” by endorsing the coalition’s senatorial bets.
“’Yung pagiging bahagi ng ating pangulo rito ay paraan para itaas ang antas ng kampanya, which not just about individuals and personalities, but really about a message,” Quimbo said.
A survey conducted by pollster Social Weather Stations from January 17 to 19 showed that more candidates from UNA are “likely” to win the Senate race. Five UNA candidates made it to the survey’s Top 12, while four administration candidates entered the winners’ circle. — RSJ, GMA News