By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent
BATO, S. LEYTE — Despite being based in Mindanao, Hukbong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Campaign Manager and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio admitted they do not expect a landslide win from the region in the May mid-term 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 harder. We are getting in the Davao region survey backing for only eight of our senators,” she said.
The presidential daughter also conceded she cannot consider the Visayan region as HNP’s bailiwick, saying it has a different of politics.
She noted that usually, Mindanaoans will go for another MIndananoan.
But in the Visayas, she said, this is not the case since “it (depends from) island o island.”
“Some of them speak Visayas, some Warays. In Panay, it’s also different.
Their politics is also different. Maybe, in Cebu, it seems Cebuanoa are the hard core (supporters),” related the founder of HNP, the regional party that gathered all senatorial candidates that is affiliated with the administration.
She hopes that their choices of local partners can help them win votes for the HNP-endorsed senatorial candidates even if they leave.
“So that’s our expectations, that our local partners and alliances can produce for the senators and convince people to vote for HNP,” said Duterte-Carpio.
In an earlier interview in Tacloban City, Duterte-Carpio said they are “upbeat” in getting majority seats for senators in the “Winning Circle.”
Asked if they are aiming to get the number one and two spots among the senatorial candidates, Duterte stressed they are not after any ranking. “What we want is for majority of our senatorial bets to win.”
Pressed if eight senators would be ok, she said “majority is 7.”
“We are praying for just seven. Eight would be (lucky). Nine or 10, God really loves us so much,” she related after the HNP campaign caravan in this city.
Responding to the query about the HNP’s strategy in getting massive public backing for their candidates, Duterte-Carpio said, “What I know is to sell (our candidates). We keep on pushing and pushing them to the people so that the people will consider them as their candidates.”
“We are happy with the performance of a lot of our senators in the surveys and it’s already too much if we ask for more. So we just hope that we get the majority of 12,” she said.
Eight of the candidates endorsed by HNP have entered the latest Pulse Asia survey.
HNP’s senatorial bets who failed to enter the “Magic 12” in the recent Pulse Asia survey gave different reactions.
Former broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad and former presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Tolentino vowed to work harder to catch up in pre-election surveys’ top 12.
He 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.
“They had already gone to many places, there are also many people in the areas they went but none still in traditional media,” he lamented.
Definitely, Manicad who ranked 20th in the Pulse Asia survey with a 11.9 percent rating, said their target is to have a TV commercial.
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 also said.
Former MMDA Francis Tolentino, who said he should not be campaigning if opposition Sen. Leila de Lima did not cheat him, admitted that he needs to work harder.
“It’s still job for me,” said Tolentino who ranked 14th in the Pulse Asia survey with a 32.1 percent rating.