Trillanes: Inflation, amnesty issues to 'haunt' Duterte's Senate bets in 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is positive that the opposition slate would dominate the 2019 elections, following President Rodrigo Duterte's failure to address high inflation and his order to revoke his fierce critic's amnesty.
Trillanes said this in a Rappler Talk interview on Friday, September 14, when asked how his ordeal would affect the chances of the opposition slate in next year’s polls. (READ: Duterte revokes Trillanes' amnesty 'effective immediately')
“I believe this is the turning point. This particular issue would haunt the candidates of Mr Duterte and help the opposition slate win in the 2019 elections,” Trillanes said, referring to Duterte's order to revoke his amnesty and to arrest him.
The opposition released the initial 18 possible candidates in its slate but among those in the list, only Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV was included in the so-called Magic 12 in pre-election surveys, ranking 6th to 14th in the June 2018 Pulse Asia survey released in July.
Former presidential candidate and interior secretary Mar Roxas ranked 14th to 21st in the same poll.
Meanwhile, reelectionist administration senators and some names set to run under the ruling party PDP-Laban, including presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, former top cop Ronald dela Rosa, and former senator Pia Cayetano, made it in the Top 12 in the June survey.
Despite the low ratings of potential opposition bets in the June survey, Trillanes remained hopeful they stand a chance against the administration slate. After all, the same thing happened to him in 2007 when he ran and won from jail, he said.
He added that the current conditions in the country were reminiscent of the political situation 11 years ago, under the Arroyo administration.
“Yes I’m very hopeful because I experienced that myself back in 2007. I was one of those unknown, [up] against very popular candidates but we won. Why? Because of the overall political environment that was turning against the administration. It’s similar to what is happening now,” Trillanes said.
“Remember the context that we’re in – in these times of runaway inflation rates, food shortages, and rising cost of living in general – all of these things would be factored in because at the end of the day, the voting public gave Mr Duterte the chance to prove that he could match the myth that they propagated during the elections but 2.5 years had passed and he basically destroyed the country that we used to be proud of,” he added.
Trillanes also defended the opposition from criticisms, saying the group is now “organized and united” under Vice President Leni Robredo. (READ: Robredo: Better results with 'calm, courageous' leadership)
“There is no other faction. She’s leading the way and it’s about to go public in next few weeks…. So we may not have that chance before to show the unity of the opposition, but you'll see that in the next few weeks,” he said, referring to the announcement of the opposition slate in October.
The filing of Certificates of Candidacy is from October 11 to 17. – Rappler.com