Mar still has fighting chance – Palace

Aurea Calica - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Despite dismal ratings, Malacañang remained optimistic that the administration’s standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II still has a fighting chance in a tight presidential race due to his steady increase in the surveys.

Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said voters were getting to know Roxas slowly but surely, like in the last presidential debate and the way he would answer issues involving his candidacy.

Commenting on the latest Pulse Asia survey on presidential candidates released on Friday, Quezon said the results showed it was a statistical tie among Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

“So what this tell us is that the race has tightened. Everyone is tied … No one can really be said (to be) in a major lead because the difference with other candidates is close,” Quezon said.

“People are really thinking hard about their choices. And as (presidential spokesman Edwin) Lacierda pointed out, this shows us that what may have been easier for some candidates in terms of coasting along on rhetoric has been cut down,” he said.

As people think harder and discern more, Quezon said they become less susceptible to motherhood statements and information that is not supported by facts.

Quezon said most presidential candidates tend to just answer the questions from the media and avoid the real issues.

“Personally, I have the observation that this is the first election since 1935 where majority of the candidates have not yet come out with a formal platform. The others, they are just content with answering the questions of reporters in some newspapers (and) that will be the supposed platform. It’s really a different issue, at least for those who take these things seriously,” he said.

Quezon said some candidates could just conveniently use politics as an excuse to avoid answering issues against them. 

Watch out

Roxas, for his part, said his rivals should better watch out as he may spring a surprise in the homestretch of the campaign.

“Before they’re saying I’ve no chance of winning, that I’m the loser. But I kept on campaigning because I know we’re on the right side,” Roxas said.

“I stand for jobs, livelihood, a secure future for our countrymen, who are slowly seeing this and realizing that their future is at stake in the elections,” he said.

Roxas stressed the May 9 elections is not a popularity contest but a choice of who will lead the country.

Roxas thanked those supporting him, adding that he will not allow himself to be “defeated by thieves and cons.”

“I have faith and confidence in our people on how they’ll weigh the qualifications of the candidates. They know who’s fresh and who’s stale. They know who’s capable and who’s not,” he said. – With Paolo Romero              



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