Bato, Southern Leyte—Despite coming from Mindanao, Hugpong ng Pagbabago campaign manager and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio admitted they do not expect a landslide vote for their senatorial candidates in the May midterm elections.
“We don’t have that expectations because even in our surveys now in Davao, we cannot come up with full support for 12 HNP senators, because we are looking where we will campaign. We are getting in the Davao region survey backing only 8 of our senators,” she said.
The presidential daughter also admitted that she cannot consider the Visayas region as HNP’s bailwick, saying it has a different kind of politics.
She noted that usually in Mindanao, voters in the island will go for another Mindanaoan.
“In Mindanao, we bond together because they grew up in MIndanao. We know the place, culture,” she said.
But in VIsayas, she said this is not the case since ‘it’s island to island.’
“Some of them speak Visayas, some Warays. In Panay, it’s also different. Their politics is also different. Maybe, in Cebu, it seems Cebuanos are hard core,” said Duterte-Carpio, who founded HNP, a regional party that gathered senatorial candidates that would help the administration of the President.
She hopes that their choices of local partners can help them win votes for the HNP- endorsed senatoriables even if they leave the group.
“So yan yun expectations naming na yung local partners and alliances can produce for the senators and convince people to vote for HNP,” she added.
In an earlier interview in Tacloban City, the Davao City mayor expressed optimism of getting majority of the seats for senators in the “Winning Circle.”
Asked if they are aiming to get the No. 1 and No. 2 spots among the senatoriables, Duterte-Carpio said they are not after any ranking. “What we want is for majority of our senatorial bets to win.”
Pressed if eight senators would be okay, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago campaign manager said “majority is 7.”
“We are praying for just 7. Eight would be lucky. Nine or 10, God really loves us so much,” she said following the HNP campaign caravan in this city.
Duterte-Carpio also expressed happiness with the apparent people’s trust and confidence on their senatorial candidates.
“And as I said, we hope that they will remain supportive of our senators until election day,” he said.
Asked about HNP’s str.ategy on being able to draw massive public support for their candidates, Duterte-Carpio said she does not know about any strategy that would work.
“What I know is to sell [our senatoriables]. We keep on pushing and pushing them to the people so that the people will consider them as candidates,” he said.
“We are happy with the performance of a lot of our senators in the surveys and masyado ng suntok sa buwan if we ask for more. So we just hope that we get the majority of 12,” she said.
According to the latest Pulse Asia survey, eight of the senatorial candidates being endorsed by HNP continue to perform well.
For instance, if not at No. 1, reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar has consistently landed on the No. 2 spot in almost all pre-election surveys. She has been described by Duterte-Carpio as the perfect example of “Sipag at Tiyaga,” citing the huge crowd she draws nationwide.
But some HNP’s senatorial bets who did not make it in the “Magic 12” of the recent Pulse Asia survey on Tuesday gave different reactions with regards to their poor performance.
Former broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad and former presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Tolentino both vowed to work harder to catch up in pre-election surveys’ top 12.
Manicad, however, welcomed his 10-point increase in awareness and double-digit conversion rating at 11 percent, but admitted that his limited resources is making his fight more difficult than it already is.
“Marami na ring naikot, marami ring tao sa areas na napupuntahan ng Hugpong, pero ‘yung sa traditional media, wala pa,” he said.
Manicad, who ranked 20th in the Pulse Asia survey, said his target to have a TV commercial since the message would be there.
But the problem, he said, is how to come out with it. “So now, I am just like a soldier. I move like a sniper. I want to make the best shot possible,” he said.
Tolentino, for his part, vowed to work harder.
“Trabaho pa rin. Mas popular ‘yung iba, kaya sipag lang,” Tolentino said, who ranked 14th in the Pulse Asia survey with 32.1 percent rating.