Otso Diretso supporters hope to raise P8 million for campaign volunteers

Mara Cepeda

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Otso Diretso supporters hope to raise P8 million for campaign volunteers
Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc and campaign manager Senator Francis Pangilinan thank the groups who are helping the slate

MANILA, Philippines – Civil society organizations have banded together to raise funds for the door-to-door operations of the campaign volunteers of Otso Diretso’s senatorial ticket.  

Four groups – Team Pilipinas, Manindigan Na, The Silent Majority, and the Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni Movement – kicked off their fundraising initiative to benefit the volunteers of the opposition senatorial candidates on Monday, March 18.

Dubbed as “Para sa Laban ng Otso Diretso (PaSaLODi),” the organizers of the crowdfunding activity plan to raise as much as P8 million. (READ: Will it be enough?Otso Diretso turns to volunteers to boost struggling campaign

Nina Lim Yuson said every P100 they will collect will be enough to fund one volunteer’s needs in a day as he or she knocks on residents’ doors and introduce the 8 senatorial bets of Otso Diretso. 

“Ang donasyon ‘nyo ay tutulong sa malawakang pagkilos [na] binubuo ng ordinaryong mamamayan na sa kanilang ‘di ordinaryang pagkilos ay magiging katangi-tanging bayani. Bawat P100 ay makakapondo ng isang volunteer sa isang araw. Sa pagbibigay ‘nyo ng kakayanin sa kanila, kayo rin ay makakatulong sa bayan,” said Yuson.

(Your donation will help in the widespread movement composed by ordinary people, who, by doing extraordinary things, become exceptional heroes. Every P100 will fund a volunteer for a day. By giving them what you can, you are also helping the country.)

She was among the group of Ten Outstanding Women Foundation awardees who previously raised more than P7 million to help Vice President Leni Robredo pay for her fees in the election protest she is facing. The Supreme Court, however, did not allow the group to donate the money to the Vice President. 

Lawyer Jeric Jucaban, chairperson of Team Volunteers, appealed to voters to choose Otso Diretso in May. 

“Dahil hindi natin dapat isuko ang Senado. Ito ay hindi lamang laban ng ating mga kandidato sa Otso Diretso; ito ay laban nating lahat. Maisakatupuran na natin ang kanilang mga mithiin kung tutulungan natin silang sa pamamaraan ng pangangampanya at sa pagkukumbinsi ng mga kapwa nating Pilipino na botohin sila,” said Jucaban.

(We cannot give up on the Senate. This is not just the fight of the Otso Diretso candidates; this is our fight too. Their plans will come true if we help them campaign and convince our fellow Filipinos to vote for them.)

Gratitude from Pangilinan, Gutoc

The PaSaLODi crowdfunding initiative includes the online fundraising campaign that was earlier promoted by Otso Diretso campaign manager and Senator Francis Pangilinan on his Facebook page. As of Monday, this GoGetFunding account has solicited a total of P398,290 from 126 backers.

“Kung labanan lang ng tarpaulin at labanan lang ng TV ads, maliwanag na ‘di natin kayang tapatan ‘yung kalahating bilyon na ginagastos ng ating mga katunggali sa administrasyon. Ngunit maniniwala tayo – at nangyari na ‘to sa maraming pagkakataon – na ang mga kandidatong napakarami nga pera, walang binatbat no’ng mamamayan na ang nanindigan, no’ng mamamayan na ang kumilos,” said Pangilinan. 

(If this is a fight about tarpaulins and TV ads, it’s clear that we cannot compete with the half a billion pesos being spent by our opponents in the administration. But we believe – and this has happened many times in the past – that candidates who have a lot of money will not be able to compete when citizens themselves stand up, when citizens are the ones who move.) 

Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc thanked the PaSaLODi members for helping the slate. 

“I’m one with all the organizations that are launching this…. We harness people from the ground who want to help. Some rich people want to help, but they do know how. Some professionals, upper class want to help, they don’t know how. And now they’re putting it in a systematic way. Thank you,” said the civic leader from war-torn Marawi City. 

Hounded by lack of money and machinery, the Otso Diretso candidates have been relying heavily on volunteers to boost their senatorial bids. (READ: When the opposition says it will tap volunteers)

So far, only former interior secretary Mar Roxas and reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino have been able to afford to air multiple television ads. The latest Pulse Asia survey, conducted February 24-28, shows only Roxas is in the winning circle, ranking 9th. – 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.