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Political Ads: Poe, Roxas, Joel Villanueva, Francis Tolentino, Risa Hontiveros, Isko Moreno

Rappler takes note of advertisements that politicians are putting out ahead of the filing of certificates of candidacies and the official campaign period. This is part of our regular round-up of materials meant to promote personalities that are either testing the waters or are known to have definite political plans for 2016. (EARLIER: Political Ads: Mark Villar, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bongbong Marcos, Grace Poe)

Here are what we've spotted in the last week. 

***

Grace Poe

While Senator Grace Poe says she is undecided on her political plans, her actions and words give clues otherwise.

Aside from her recent visits to vote-rich provinces of Cebu, Pangasinan, and Nueva Ecija, Poe released a television advertisement. 

Rappler spotted the ad of Poe during primetime on Friday, August 28. The ad opens with the photo of the senator's popular father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. There was no voice over, only FPJ's campaign jingle in the 2004 presidential elections playing. Remember the line, "May bagong umagang darating"?

A montage of photos of the neophyte senator reaching out to the masses follows. She is also seen talking to passengers inside the controversial Metro Rail Transit 3. Also highlighted in the ad are her works in the Senate, including the popular Freedom of Information bill.

At the end of her political ad, the slogan “Walang maiiwan” (No one will be left behind) is shown.

Poe repeatedly said in the past that one of her goals is to push for inclusive growth. 

She earlier released an ad in time for the 76th birthday celebration of her father the late Fernando Poe Jr, but said there is nothing political about it.

 

Mar Roxas

Even before Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was officially named the administration standard-bearer, he had released several advertisements on television.

Early last week, he released another ad, highlighting President Benigno Aquino III’s endorsement of him at Club Filipino on July 31.

Roxas is wearing a yellow shirt contrary to his usual blue colors in the 2010 elections. The color yellow is associated with the Aquinos, starting from the time of the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, carried on by his widow, former President Corazon Aquino. 

Roxas, in the ad, says he would continue and widen the "straight path" of the Aquino administration.

 

Joel Villanueva

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) chief Joel Villanueva is among the senatorial aspirants who first released television advertisements and billboards. He earlier admitted he is “seriously considering” running for the Senate in 2016.

Villanueva released another ad this week focusing on his work in TESDA. He is seen talking to a TESDA graduate who supposedly got work after his course in the agency. Other photos of Villanueva receiving distinction from other countries are shown as well.

The central message in all of Villanueva’s ads is his being a “TESDAman,” an allusion to his efforts to change the formerly corrupt agency. No other than President Benigno Aquino III himself recognized this, as he had consistently praised Villanueva in the past.

But Villanueva told Rappler he is “not ready” to run with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in 2016, after the latter filed cases against him over the controversial pork barrel scam.

 

Francis Tolentino

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino released a television advertisement this week, focusing on his role in disaster preparedness. As MMDA chief, Tolentino spearheaded the earthquake drill this year. 

In the ad, where Tolentino is referred to as a "Disaster Preparedness Advocate," celebrity Carla Abellana also appears.

Although Tolentino has yet to announce his candidacy, many believe he is running for the Senate.

On Wednesday, August 26, he was seen on the streets as a traffic enforcer amid calls for him to quit his post due to the endless problem of traffic in Metro Manila.

A month ago, Tolentino did the rounds of different provinces. Observers criticized him for this, saying he should be in the capital addressing the problem of traffic.

 

Risa Hontiveros

Screengrab from Risa Hontiveros Facebook page

PhilHealth director Risa Hontiveros released an advertisement focusing on the National Health Insurance Program of the agency. Hontiveros has yet to declare her senatorial bid, her 3rd if ever.

Observers, however, criticized the ad and saw it as a campaign tool. The camp of Hontiveros released a statement on Sunday, August 23, defending her.

Saying it is a part of PhilHealth’s effort to intensify its information drive on its insurance program, her camp said Hontiveros was asked by PhilHealth to “lend her voice to speak and endorse its programs.”

“No public funds were used. Friends in the private sector who believe in Risa Hontiveros and PhilHealth's programs defrayed all costs in the making of the said infomercial,” they said.

President Aquino appointed her to PhilHealth after she lost in the 2013 senatorial election.

 

Isko Moreno

Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno released a television advertisement, focusing on his struggles early in life and highlighting his “persistence” to reach his present status.

The ad shows a poor child's hardships. At the end of it, Moreno comes out and says a possible campaign tagline: "'Pag pursigido ang tulong sa kapwa, sigurado." (If one is determined to help, he is sure to do it.)

While Moreno has yet to announce what elective position he will seek next year, many believe he might run for the Senate instead of seeking the mayorship of Manila. (READ: Isko Moreno: From Tondo to the Senate?

In 2013, Moreno was the running mate of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada under the United Nationalist Alliance.

Moreno, who was born and raised in the slums of Tondo, Manila, is known for his masa appeal. Before entering politics, Moreno was an actor known mostly for his "mature roles" on the big screen. 

Based on the May Pulse Asia survey, Moreno is far from the “Magic 12” for 2016. He ranks 16th-23rd among 59 possible senatorial bets, with 19.6% of respondents saying they would vote for him. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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