PUERTO PRINCESA: Allies of presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas vowed on Saturday to deliver 15 percent more votes for the Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer on election day.
Gov. Jose Alvarez of Palawan, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), made the promise in a meeting with various local officials in the province’s capitol compound.
Alvarez said that in the 1992 presidential polls, then retired military man Fidel Ramos only ranked fourth in pre-election surveys but he won the race by getting 23 percent of the votes.
“Ramos had 23 percent, but in the end, who won? My assessment is that 15 percent will be added [to Mar]because the LP is an organized party. His share can go up to as high as 35 percent,” Alvarez projected.
The LP—the ruling party—has loose coalitions with the NPC, the Nacionalista Party and the National Union Party (NUP).
Roxas echoed Alvarez’s sentiments, noting that his grassroots support will not go to waste under his presidency, which will push for the expansion of “Bottom Up Budgeting,” a scheme where local government units and people’s organizations identify community projects for funding by the national government.
Relying on machinery
“The point is our numbers in the survey can still be shored up by your campaigning on the ground. That is the machinery. You can convince people, and more importantly, you will be the ones who will also help them get to the polling precincts come election day,” Roxas told the local officials who attended the meeting.
Roxas said he doubted whether his opponents can challenge the LP’s machinery. Sen. Grace Poe does not belong to any political party while Mayor Rodrigo Duterte belongs to PDP-Laban which has a few members, according to Roxas.
“Machinery is not vote buying, but helping the people get to the precinct to vote. If nobody will help the voters reach the polling precincts, chances are, they won’t vote anymore,” Roxas said.
“Given our machinery, there is a greater chance that people will be able to cast their vote for us because you are there stationed on the ground,” he added.