VIRAC, Catanduanes – Vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has categorically declared he will not withdraw from the race as Tropa or the team of Vice President Leni Robredo and himself has the momentum to win the May 9 election.
In an interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday evening, Pangilinan said historical data on the 2010 and 2016 elections had showed that candidates in the 3rd and 4th places weeks before the May elections ended up surpassing the frontrunners and were declared winners.
“The momentum is on our side. You must remember in 2010, in the vice-presidential race, Vice President (Jejomar) Binay was behind. He was 17% in March. But ended up 40% by May,” he said.
“The same with Vice President Leni. She was behind in 2016, No. 4, and then ended up No. 1 by May. So the momentum is on our side, why will we back out?” he said during the interview.
Pangilinan was in Virac for a sortie during the interview. On April 11, the Team Robredo-Pangilinan (Tropa) was in La Union to rally supporters. They are now (April 13) in Masbate City, their final destination before the Holy Week break.
Acknowledging that Robredo ranks 2nd in most national election 2022 surveys, Pangilinan said “being 2nd is better than being 4th six years ago, and still winning it.”
Citing recent survey results, Pangilinan said “VP Leni has hit almost double digit increase in her votes, while (he) increased (his) votes by 50% in just one month. That is your momentum.”
“Historical data, in terms of polling, had shown, those in the 4th place won both in 2010 and 2016. So why withdraw?” he said.
“At least in the vice-presidential race, I see this going down the wire. Every vote will count. It does not matter if you do not win in that area, what matters is that you get enough votes in that area which will when you add all the votes that you get, they will bring you over the top,” he said.
Pangilinan said “if we are to base our decision on science and historical data, nanalo nga iyong nasa 4th place noong 2010 at nanalo rin ang nasa 3rd place noong 2016.”
“So possible, malaki ang posibilidad, we are in 3rd place, na puedeng manalo tayo by May 2022,” he said.
“In 2016, they were telling VP Leni not to go to Ilocos because hindi siya makakakuha nang boto roon, sayang lang ang oras niya. She went there, she got 200,000 votes in the Ilocos Region. And she won by 260,000 votes (in the final tally),” he said.
Emphasizing the importance of provincial sorties even in the strongholds of their political rivals, Pangilinan said “what matters in the end is we keep reaching out and getting the votes.”
“Kahit hindi tayo manalo doon sa lugar, basta mayroon tayong significant number of votes, tapos pag sinuma mo iyong boto natin sa Cebu (for example), at sa ibang (lugar) e kaya nating ipanalo,” he said.
In Tropa rally after Tropa rally, tens of thousands of people are turning out even in non-Tropa bailiwick, traditional politicians and their brokers to create a Tropa split by partnering Robredo with a different running-mate.
Spurning such suggestion, Robredo has repeatedly said that Pangilinan is her favored running-mate, even declaring in sorties that “bawat boto kay Leni, may botong katapat para kay Kiko.”
Calling on voters to be “Solid Leni-Kiko all the way,” Pangilinan has warned of dubious plans in the lobby for other vice-presidential candidates to replace him.