Win or lose, Otso Diretso bets to push for their advocacies

MANILA, Philippines – Three Otso Diretso candidates said that even if they lose in the senatorial race, they would still do their part to make sure their respective platforms are realized after the elections.

This was the response of Otso Diretso bets Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, and Romy Macalintal to Angelito Cortez, a resident of Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City, who asked them what the slate would do if they lost in the polls.

Cortez said he is also part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Diokno, a human rights lawyer, said he and the rest of Otso Diretso would continue defending the rights of Filipinos. (READ: Otso Diretso slate offers 8-point platform

"Kahit iisa lang ang manalo sa Senado sa aming Otso, gano'n pa rin ang gagawin namin: Makikipag-away kami doon sa mga iba. Ipagtatanggol namin ang lahat ng katulad ninyo, kasi whether 1, 2, 3 or kahit umabot sa 8, ay pareho pa rin ang gagawin namin, lalaban pa rin at lalaban," said Diokno during their dialogue with the residents on Tuesday, March 12. 

(Even if only one of us in Otso Diretso will win, we would still do the same thing: We will fight those on the other side. We will defend people like you, because if 1, 2, 3 or even up to 8 of us make it, we will just keep on fighting.) 

Macalintal, who is running on a pro-senior citizens' rights platform, said he has long been pushing for this advocacy before he decided to run for office. 

"Alam ninyo, manalo man kami o magwagi, ay tuloy-tuloy ho ang aming serbisyo. Talagang manalo man kami o magwagi kaming lahat, lahat ho ng pinangangako namin sa 'yo ay gagawin namin. In my case, kahit hindi pa ko senador, nakita naman ninyo kung paano ko pinaglalaban ang mga senior citizens," said the veteran election lawyer.  

(You know, if we win or triumph, our services will continue. We will fulfill all our promises. In my case, even if I'm not a senator yet, you can already see how I've been fighting for senior citizens.)

As for Gutoc, she first acknowledged Cortez as one of her Facebook friends. She then cited how the LGBT community is often ostracized online or even on television. If Gutoc does not win a Senate seat, she said she would continue defending the LGBT community. 

"Do not use media para sa iyong pagmamayabang at paglalaki ng pansarili (for showing off and for your self-interest). Win or lose, Angelito, you have me. I am your Facebook friend, and I will defend you as much as I can, basta buhay pa rin ako (as long as I live)," said Gutoc, a Marawi civic leader turned senatorial hopeful.

Of the 8 members of Otso Diretso, only former interior chief Mar Roxas and reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino have landed in the so-called winners' circle in preelection surveys.

The rest, including Diokno, Gutoc, and Macalintal, have yet to break into the coveted top 12 spots, which are mostly dominated by administration bets and reelectionists. (READ: Otso Diretso begins tough challenge of campaigning as underdogs– Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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