Osmeña: Aquino endorsement won’t matter for any presidential candidate

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

SENATOR Sergio Osmeña III said on Tuesday that the endorsement of President Benigno Aquino III will not matter in the coming 2016 polls.

Osmeña, who has been one of Aquino's strong supporters in the 2010 presidential elections, said that it could be a plus factor if the Chief Executive will anoint a particular candidate but maintained that it is not that significant.

"The popularity of any President is not transferable and the anointment of any sitting President doesn't count in this country," he said. "People think that the endorsement of a sitting president is big...hindi totoo iyan."

"Let's start from Cory Aquino. When she endorsed Fidel Ramos in 1992, Ramos was No. 1 already in the surveys at 24 percent. And when election came, Fidel Ramos was 24 percent," he added.

He recalled that in 1998, Ramos endorsed Jose de Venecia Jr. The former House Speaker was at 17 percent. When elections came, de Venecia was still at 17 percent.

"In 2010, GMA endorsed Gibo (Gilberto) Teodoro. And of course, she was such an unpopular person, Gibo Teodoro only got 11 percent. So, the endorsement of the president doesn't seem to count in this country," Osmeña said.

The senator said that if ever the presidential elections will held today Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is rumored to become a guest candidate of the administration coalition, is a sure winner.

"The way the surveys are reflecting his popularity, he doesn't need anybody's endorsement. But of course, politics being addition, you always want any added support. But the way he is doing, if the elections were held today, he’ll win in a landslide," Osmeña said.

But the senator was also quick to say that anything might happen and things might change considering the fact that the presidential elections is still very far.

When asked if Senator Grace Poe who stand second in the latest presidential survey will have a chance to beat Binay, Osmeña expressed strong belief that the neophyte will have a very slim chance against Vice President who maintained his strong popularity and trust rating in the surveys.

"Maybe she (Poe) has to expose herself more. Maybe she has to talk on a wider scale and share her vision for the country. Project herself not merely as a Reproductive Health Bill supporter or an FOI (Freedom of Information) bill supporter. Somebody who the country can look up to for leadership. It takes some doing to do that. Mahirap na habulin," the Cebuano senator said.

Osmeña further said the challenge for the presidency is not an easy task and the campaigning is a challenging thing for those aiming to be the next occupant in Malacanang.

"Campaigning for the presidency is like telling the people: I am willing to lead you in this direction. They better like the direction and they better like you. Dapat bilib sayo at bilib din sa vision mo," Osmeña said.

The senator said people must really choose wisely and according to the qualifications of the candidate. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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