MANILA – Unlike in 2010, this year’s presidential race does not have a clear winner even as the campaign period has only 50 days left, senatorial re-electionist Francis Pangilinan said Sunday, when the second presidential debate is scheduled.
“In 2010, mas cuentas claras na habang papalapit ang eleksyon (the winner was becoming clearer as the campaign progresses). Except for January 2010, when there was a tie, the President’s showing got better as the elections came nearer. Medyo hindi (Not) muddled and fuzzy, tulad ngayon (like now),” said Pangilinan, who is running under the banner of Liberal Party, which is part of the administration coalition.
“Ngayon (Now), neck and neck, nguso lang ang lamang. Anything can happen,” he said. “These elections are going down the wire. What is unfolding is very interesting, very exciting. Parang teleseryeng abangan ang susunod na kabanata (It’s like a television series that keeps you guessing what happens next).”
Everyone in the team has to help out and work double time for the standard bearers, Pangilinan said. “In 2010, the Vice President won by 2 percent of the vote and nobody remembers that. This is going to be a close fight, and every percentage point will matter. We all need to work hard in the campaign.”
In the last survey, LP presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was behind, but he was up five percentage points up, he pointed out. “And that’s a very good development.”
ON TOPPING THE SURVEY FOR SENATORIAL BETS
Pangilinan believes two things put him there: his message of “tapat at totoo” (faithful and true) and his clean political experience.
“I have been senator for 12 years and one and a half years as Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, and I was never linked to any anomaly. I have not been on any Napoles list,” he said, referring to the pork barrel scam masterminded by Janet Napoles.
“And that is because we made sure we stayed clear of any transactions that are questionable. People are tired of corruption. Trustworthiness is still a big issue,” he added.
Pangilinan said his taking on agriculture as an electoral issue is another thing that voters positively responded to.
“Fifty-five percent of our people are in the rural areas. And those who went abroad to find work are from the rural areas. They would not leave if there were economic opportunities there,” he said. “At nauunawaan ng mga botante ang ating mensaheng ‘pagpapasigla ng agrikultura ang susi sa magandang buhay (And our voters understand our message that ‘stimulating agriculture is the key to a good life’).”
“Malayo pa ang eleksyon. Kailangan pang maging mas masipag (The elections are still far off. We need to continue to work harder),” Pangilinan said.