Otso Diretso heads to Tañada’s turf to woo Quezon voters

Mara Cepeda
Otso Diretso heads to Tañada’s turf to woo Quezon voters


The highlight of the sortie is a grand campaign rally in Sariaya town, where the opposition bets will be hosted by local allies

MANILA, Philippines – With 10 days to go until election day, Otso Diretso candidates spent time campaigning in vote-rich Quezon province.

On Friday, May 3, former Quezon congressman Erin Tañada was joined by 3 other opposition candidates – Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc,  former solicitor general Florin Hilbay, and election lawyer Romy Macalintal – to court the country’s 14th most vote-rich province.

Quezon has a total of 1,284,444 registered voters. Tañada served as congressman of the 4th District of Quezon for 3 consecutive terms, from 2004 to 2013.

The highlight of Otso Diretso’s trip to Quezon will be a grand campaign rally at the Sariaya Sports Complex, which will be hosted by several local candidates from both the once-dominant Liberal Party (LP) and the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Friday afternoon. 

Joining the Otso Diretso bets during this rally are several of their allies from LP: reelectionist Vice Mayor Alex Tolentino and councilor candidates Demia Maghirang, Ofelia Villapando, and Renz Marcuap. They will be joined by PDP-Laban’s councilor bets Vince Alcala Banta, Haydee Medina Caringal, Minerva Remo, Arlene Genove, and Marioa Medrano. 

The local candidates will first hold their own program before the Otso Diretso bets and their representatives get their turn to address Quezon voters.

Simon Aquino will represent his uncle, reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino; Magdalo’s 4th nominee Ian Badecao will represent Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano; Inez Diokno for her father, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno; and Pancho Joaquin for his cousin, former interior chief Mar Roxas. 

It’s rare for Otso Diretso to campaign alongside local politicians, most of whom are afraid to be seen with the opposition bets out of fear of retaliation from Malacañang. This has forced Otso Diretso to turn to a volunteer-driven campaign

Other stops

Prior to the campaign rally, the Otso Diretso bets visited the Lucena Public Market and had a dialogue with coconut farmers at Barangay Silangan in Domoit, Tayabas, on Friday morning.

In the afternoon, the senatorial candidates will head back to Lucena to speak with sectoral representatives gathered at Lucena Cathedral. The Otso Diretso bets will then eat lunch with business owners at a seafood restaurant at the Pacific Mall.

Their final stop is in Sariaya town, where they will join a farmers’ assembly at the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura sa Quezon. The campaign rally will be the culminating activity in the province.

Despite improvements in their voter awareness ratings in the past 3 months, Tañada, Gutoc, Hilbay, and Macalintal have yet to get into the so-called winners’ circle in the pre-election surveys. (READ: Of jet skis and life vests: How Otso Diretso uses political stunts to keep its campaign afloat

They remained unfazed, however, hoping to pull off a come-from-behind victory on May 13. – Rappler.com

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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 mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.