Roxas says solo campaign kickoff without Otso Diretso a non-issue

CAMARINES SUR, Philippines – Senatorial candidate Mar Roxas said there shouldn't be any issue with him skipping the campaign kickoff of the Otso Diretso slate he is part of.

Roxas said on Wednesday, February 13, that it has always been his tradition to start his campaign in Capiz, his hometown.

"Meron akong hometown. Ako'y galing sa Capiz. Doon ako nagsisimula ng aking kampanya at ginawa ko lang ang aking tradisyon," said the former senator and ex-secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

(I have a hometown. I'm from Capiz. That's where I always start my campaign and I only followed my tradition.)

The Otso Diretso senatorial lineup spent Tuesday, February 12 – the first day of the campaign period for senatorial bets and party-list groups – by holding a persuasion campaign in Caloocan City.

Roxas, meanwhile, attended the send-off activity organized by his kasimanwas or fellow citizens at the Dinggoy Roxas Civic Center in Roxas City, Capiz.

Asked by reporters why he did not spend the first day of the campaign with Otso Diretso, a visibly irked Roxas replied, "Is that a disqualifying action?"

"Sandali lang, ano'ng issue? (Wait, what's the issue?) I mean, my media bureau announced that I would be starting my campaign in my hometown, 'di ba (right)?" said Roxas.

Roxas, along with reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, are the only two out of the 8 members of Otso Diretso who have so far made it into the so-called winners' circle or Magic 12.

Roxas said he would help boost the numbers of the slate's other members by telling the public about their platforms. (READ: Otso Diretso slate offers 8-point platform)

"First of all, [what I can do] is to campaign, to put forward our platform," said Roxas.

'Different challenges' for Otso Diretso

But it seems Roxas will not be joining all campaign activities of the slate in the coming weeks.

When asked if he would be spending most of the campaign period with Otso Diretso or he would mostly go on his own rounds, Roxas said each of the bets have to face "different challenges."

"The candidates of Otso Diretso are very different individually. We all have our different challenges. Ang iba sa amin nagpapakilala, 'di kilala ng tao. 'Yung iba sa amin, sa sobrang kilala, may trolls na nga (Some of us are unknown, the people don't know them yet. Others, because they are so well-known, there are already trolls bothering them)," said Roxas.

"So iba-iba ang mga challenge namin. So kailangan naming tutukan ang hamon ng aming kampanya (So our challenges are different. We need to focus on the challenges of our respective campaigns)," he added. (READ: Roxas on Senate bid: 'I'm not here to redo 2016')

On Wednesday, the Otso Diretso candidates barnstormed in Iriga City without Roxas. He joined them in the afternoon in Naga City, where they visited the tomb of the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo.

The whole slate is set to attend their grand proclamation rally at Plaza Quezon in Naga. – 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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