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Baguhin na! Noy begins campaign for opposition bets


By Xave Gregorio

In keeping with his role as one of the opposition slate’s lead campaigners, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has began calling for support for the bets they would be fielding in the 2019 polls.

“Kung sangayon po tayo sa takbo ng bansa ngayon, iboto po ang kakampi ng administrasyon. Pero kung hindi ka sangayon, ‘wag niyo lang iboto ang ating mga kandidato, ikampanya niyo pa sila,” Aquino said in a speech Tuesday (August 21) after a Mass for the 35th death anniversary of his father, former Senator Ninoy Aquino, at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

“Palakasin niyo ang magdadala ng tinatawag na checks and balances sa gobyerno,” the chairman emeritus of the formerly ruling Liberal Party continued.

Aquino has denied that he would run again for senator in the next year’s polls and instead would campaign for opposition bets in hopes of increasing the number of their seats come 2019.

Currently, the opposition coalition dubbed “The Resistance” would be fielding Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, former Reps. Erin Tañada and Barry Gutierrez, Free Legal Assistance Group chair Chel Diokno and actress Agot Isidro for the upper chamber.

However, only the incumbent Senator Aquino has been figuring in the winners’ circle in pre-election surveys, while their other bets have been eating dust.

But the former President is unfazed, recalling the 2013 polls where the then-administration slate dubbed “Team PNoy” largely triumphed over the opposition United Nationalist Alliance’s bets, who were backed by the so-called “three kings,” former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, former Vice President Jejomar Binay and former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Aquino noted that even with the backing then of Estrada, Binay and Enrile, the former opposition only managed to clinch three Senate seats, while his Team PNoy snagged the rest.

In closing, Aquino conceded that the opposition’s victory—or defeat—would all depend if the people would elect them to a government post.

“Klaro po nasa inyong mga kamay ang ating kapalaran. Nasa inyo kung gagamitin ninyo ang kapangyarihan na ito,” he said.