Philippines

Solon slams Otso Diretso bets’ ‘gimmick’ in WPS

Solon slams Otso Diretso bets’ ‘gimmick’ in WPS
By Jose Cielito Reganit

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — A party-list lawmaker on Thursday slammed the recent actions of Otso Diretso senatorial bets in the West Philippine Sea as “cheap political gimmickry” that was meant solely to mock the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and prop up their sagging numbers.

In a statement, Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta branded the senatorial candidates’ actions as mere “posturing.”

Marcoleta said if the Otso Diretso candidates really intended to drive the Chinese away from Panatag Shoal, they should have gone ahead instead of just talking to the local fishermen.

“If the four opposition candidates were raring to drive the Chinese interlopers away from our territory, they should have ignored the rules of the local Coast Guards and that would have proved their valor and patriotism,” the House Senior Deputy Majority Leader said.

“Not having done so, the posturing is just a pure publicity stunt designed to mock the present administration and endear themselves to the voters,” Marcoleta added.

He also pointed out that Duterte’s campaign promise to ride a jet ski was not for literal compliance.

“The President has done enough to fight for the West Philippine Sea while also building a bond with China, a crucial balancing act for true leaders,” Marcoleta said.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano had originally planned to sail to Scarborough Shoal on a rented boat last Monday when they took their campaign to Masinloc town in Zambales on a rented boat.

The Pulse Asia senatorial survey, conducted from February 24 to 28 and was released Thursday, showed Gutoc, Diokno and Alejano placed 28th, 29th and 30th respectively.

Hilbay placed 36th in the survey that was taken a little more than a month prior to their failed West Philippine Sea caper.

In the same survey, other opposition members — former Quezon 4th District Rep. Erin Tañada and lawyer Romulo Macalintal– landed on the 26th and 27th places, respectively.

Only two Otso Diretso bets were shown to have a statistical chance of making it to the winning circle — reelectionist Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV who placed 13th and former Senator Mar Roxas who is at 16th.

On the other hand, 10 of the 16 candidates who have a “statistical chance of winning” in the May elections are from Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

Among them are reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar (2nd), Senator Sonny Angara (3rd), former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go (4th), and Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano (5th).

The others include actor and former senator Lito Lapid (6th), former national police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa (8th), former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (9th), Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos (10th), former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino (11th) and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (12th).

Reelectionist Senator Koko Pimentel sits at 14th place.

Their standings were attributed to the popularity of President Rodrigo Duterte, who maintains a “very good” satisfaction rating in surveys.

The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted from March 28 to 31, 2019, found 79 percent of adult Filipinos satisfied, 8 percent undecided, and 13 percent dissatisfied with the performance of Duterte as President.

This gives President Duterte a net satisfaction rating of +66, classified by SWS as “very good.”

This is up by 6 points from the very good +60 in December 2018, and ties his personal high set in June 2017. (PNA)

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