DAVAO City – Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial candidates are very confident that with the endorsement of the Dutertes they will have big chances of winning Senate seats.
In separate interviews before the start of the grand rally, senatoriables Francis Tolentino; Koko Pimentel; JV Ejercito and Dong Mangudadatu said the endorsements of President Rodrigo Duterte and HNP chairperson Mayor Sara Duterte are very important for them.
They said the Dutertes’ support is as crucial as the endorsements of big religious groups especially the Iglesia ni Cristo, which practices block voting.
Tolentino said the backing of President Duterte and his inclusion in Mayor Sara’s HNP boosted his chances.
“Malaking bagay ang pag endorso ni Pangulo at ni Mayor Sara, mahal sila ng tao kaya pati tayo ay pinaniniwalaan din,” he told reporters covering HNP.
Tolentino is among those being backed by the INC.
“Natutuwa nga ako nang sinabihan ako ng INC na ako ang una sa kanilang listahan,” he added.
Unlike Tolentino, Pimentel was not included in the list of INC but he is expecting the Dutertes’ help will make him win.
Pimentel said he is grateful that the PDP-Laban led by its chairman President Duterte continues to campaign for him.
The former Senate President is not doing well in the survey either.
“Sa mga candidate ng PDP-Laban, dalawa kami ni Dong na tinutulungan pa. Medyo hindi pa maganda ang survey, but we will still believe the Duterte magic will work for us,” he stressed.
Ejercito, who was not endorsed by the INC, said he is still thankful for the help of President Duterte and Mayor Sara as he expressed confidence that it will get him reelected.
Ejercito is also a guest candidate of the PDP-Laban.
“Of course, INC would really help a lot kaya lang kung hindi nasama wala tayong magagawa. Kayod lang, that will push us to work even harder in the last two days,” Ejercito said.
“Confident naman ako, trajectory is good I think, so still hopeful. Pasok naman ako last survey,” he added.
For his part, Mangudadatu said he doesn’t believe in surveys because they are not the real gauge in choosing candidates.
He said the President and Mayor Sara chose him to be part of the senatorial line-up because they believe he is will represent Mindanao in the Senate.
“Pinili tayo ng Pangulo kasi naniniwala siyang mananalo tayo para makatulong sa kanya sa pag resolve ng peace and order sa Mindanao,” he said.
Meanwhile in a statement, Cayetano was grateful to Pres. Duterte for supporting her senatorial bid.
“Napakahalaga ng endorsement ng ating Pangulo. It has a great impact and it is very personal to me,” she said.
Cayetano shared that her close relationship with the President dates back to the first time she ran for Senate in 2003, during which she sought the support of the then Davao City Mayor, who was also friends with her late father, former Senator Rene Cayetano.