'Otso Diretso' candidates rely on house-to-house campaign
With minimal resources and several political newcomers on its senatorial slate, the opposition “Otso Diretso” is banking on a house-to-house strategy to kick-start its campaign in Caloocan City today.
“Unlike resource-rich traditional politicians … the Otso Diretso candidates will start their campaign going back to the people, sharing each other’s stories,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan said on the eve of the start of the campaign period for the midterm elections in May.
Pangilinan, the opposition coalition’s campaign manager, said improving the lives of every Filipino family would be the centerpiece of their senatorial candidates’ legislative agenda as they and their supporters conducted house-to-house visits.
“This campaign strategy of going house-to-house is a game-changer. It has not been done on a national scale,” he noted.
Besides former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino, Otso Diretso, or “Straight Eight,” is composed of former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno and civil society leader Samira Gutoc.
Only Roxas, who lost to President Duterte in the 2016 presidential race, and Aquino have been able to make it to the winning circle in recent election surveys.
“Our campaign would be uphill as most of them are relatively unknown in the national stage. But I’m sure that if people would get to know them, they would choose our candidates for the Senate,” Pangilinan said.
“[T]heir legislative agenda [is based] on people’s hopes and fears from the nationwide face-to-face listening Project Makinig,” he added, referring to the 10-week community visits that the group held to help them craft their political platform.
Candidates of the opposition bloc, he said, would be literally knocking on the doors of voters nationwide to listen to their concerns and help them “make the right choice for senators.”
Dubbed “Makinig 2.0,” the senator said Otso Diretso would embark on “face-to-face, volunteer-driven persuasion campaign” to help raise awareness for their practically politically unknown candidates.
He likened the campaign strategy to “people power,” which was aimed at “empowering ordinary citizens so that they are able to make the right choice for senators and empowering them to campaign for these choices.”
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