PARTIDO Galing at Puso vice presidential candidate and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s strong “appeal” to the youth and the masses is one of the reasons why the senator remains ahead in pre-election surveys, even beating by a huge margin top campaign ad spender and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Students and ordinary people go crazy when they see Sen. Chiz [Escudero]. It’s obvious that many of them look up to him and are impressed by his grasp of issues, and how he’s able to explain complex matters in a way that they can relate to,” said Youth for Chiz organizer and former student leader Jules Guiang,
According to Guiang, he was not surprised that Escudero was leading the surveys even with almost zero ads because he had seen firsthand the “rock star” reception for Escudero in his sorties and received positive feedback from voters, young and old alike, who had seen the Bicolano senator up close.
Escudero, based on a recent article by Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), had spent the least among all senators running for the vice presidency in the May 2016 elections.
Quoting the monitoring of Nielsen, Escudero had only spent P2.7 million as of January 31, 2016, which is less than one percent of the P419 million ad spending of Cayetano, who remains in the fourth position.
Escudero’s ad spending is also one percent of Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Camarines Rep. Leni Robredo’s P273 million, and the P252 million ad spending of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Senators Gregorio Honasan and Antonio Trillanes 4th already spent P29.6 million and P8.9 million, respectively, for their campaign ads.
But its seems Escudero’s connection with the masses has overpowered the enormous campaign resources of his rivals because he remains on top of most of the vice presidential surveys.
In the Laylo survey conducted from February 29 to March 1, for example, he ranked first with 30 percent, Marcos second with 24 percent, followed by Robredo with 20 percent and Cayetano with 11 percent.
Guiang said Escudero’s high ratings can be attributed to his clear pro-poor platform to which voters in the D and E economic classes can relate.
“In issues affecting the masses, he’s always taken their side, from his support for lower income taxes, to his campaign to override the presidential veto of the 2,000-peso SSS pension hike, as well as his position for onsite resettlement of informal settlers and against labor contractualization,” he explained.