New ‘Otso Diretso’ ad: Who will benefit from your vote?

Mara Cepeda
New ‘Otso Diretso’ ad: Who will benefit from your vote?
Vice President Leni Robredo appears at the end of the video and asks, 'Ikaw, para kanino ang boto mo?'

MANILA, Philippines – The opposition senatorial candidates reminded voters in their first political advertisement as a slate that while the general public may not know them yet, the “Otso Diretso” bets can help address their problems. 

The advertisement was posted on Otso Diretso’s official Facebook account on Wednesday evening, January 23.

Campaign manager and Senator Francis Pangilinan told Rappler that the ad first aired during the commercial break of a noontime entertainment show at a major television network on the same day.

The video starts with a narrator asking the audience to “support” the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates: Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, ex-solicitor general Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romy Macalintal, former interior secretary Mar Roxas, and ex-Quezon congressman Erin Tañada.

A woman then appears on screen, saying, “Dalawa lang ang kilala ko diyan!” (I know only two people from that slate!)

The woman’s relatives – all smiling – are then flashed on screen. The narrator asks, “Eh sila kilala mo?” (How about them, do you know who they are?)

The woman says they are her family. 

What follows is a montage of the Otso Diretso candidates intently listening to the woman’s family members. The narrator says that the opposition slate knows the woman votes for the sake of her loved ones. 

“Mas maunlad na bukas, boto mo ang lunas – Otso Diretso!” says the narrator. (Your vote is the key to a better tomorrow – Straight Eight!)

But the ad doesn’t end there.

No less than Vice President Leni Robredo makes a quick appearance at the end of the ad.

Seated, Robredo asks the viewers, “Ikaw, para kanino ang boto mo?” (Who will benefit from your vote?)

The Otso Diretso candidates have so far performed poorly in pre-election surveys, with only Roxas and Aquino landing in the so-called winners’ circle. 

Still, the opposition bets are unfazed. Since mid-December 2018, the Otso Diretso candidates have been holding town hall meetings across the country to consult with various sectors, in a bid to listen to the public’s concerns and make themselves known to more voters. –


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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.