In this photo taken April 28, 2019, Vice President Leni Robredo and Otso Diretso opposition senatorial candidates flash the '8' sign during the launching of the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon in Plaza Independencia, Cebu City.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
No need for name-calling in airing frustration over polls, Robredo says
Kristine Joy Patag ( - May 16, 2019 - 2:56pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Vice President Leni Rodredo urged her supporters to refrain from name-calling when venting their frustration over the results of the midterm elections.

 “Let us not resort to name-calling, demeaning our fellow Filipinos that—at this most crucial time—are the ones we need to reach out to [and] connect with all the more,” Robredo said in a Facebook post.

The vice president recognized that in the last couple of days—while the results of Monday’s voting continue to trickle in the Comelec—many felt “overwhelmed by frustration, disappointment and even anger.”

The midterm election campaign saw the resurgence of the term "bobotante", a portmanteau of the Filipino words for "stupid" and "voter", with many blaming the masses for the administration's sweep of the Senate polls.

But opposition candidates, including those from the Labor Win coalition and those supported by the Makabayan bloc, had to campaign with meager resources against bets endorsed by the president and who had the support of the president's allies in government.

In an interview with last year, political analyst Dennis Coronacion said an administration party—PDP-Laban—awash with campaign resources and the massive popularity of President Rodrigo Duterte would mean tough times for the opposition.

"What makes it more difficult for the opposition is that the president continues to enjoy huge public support as shown in his recent trust and approval ratings," Coronacion said then.

Robredo: Battle not over

"We have worked hard and fought against all odds for our motherland, and in the face of all that sacrifice and effort, the results of the elections and the numbers we are seeing so far are not easy to accept," the vice president said.

But she continued: “The battle is not yet over.

“In fact, it has just begun and this is the time for us to show our greatest strengths, never to be clouded by our greatest fears,” the vice president added.

READ: Leni, Otso Diretso bets in full force in Cebu

Online chatter, mock polls in schools

In days leading to the May 13 polls, Otso Diretso bets dominated online conversations and did well in university mock polls, but these did not translate to enough votes to get them to the Senate.

The latest figures of the 2019 midterm elections transmitted to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Comelec’s citizen arm, showed re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino—the lone Otso Diretso bet within the Top 15—two spots outside the winners’ circle.

READ: Opposition slate Otso Diretso suffers a resounding loss

Even veteran Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas failed to secure a spot in the winners’ circle, as he remains at the 16th spot, with 97.44% of election returns processed in the unofficial tally.

The top 12 remains dominated by administration-backed candidates, a trend that has not changed in the three days since the elections.

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