Last week, the President accompanied the administration senatorial ticket, which was called “Team Pnoy,” almost every day during sorties in provinces where he dominated the voting during the 2010 national polls.
The Liberal Party (LP)-led senatorial slate went with Aquino last week to vote-rich Pangasinan, Camarines Sur and Quezon province, as well as the President’s home province, Tarlac.
Data culled by GMA News Online also showed that the President was present in 11 of the 12 provincial sorties the administration ticket mounted in the past month. Aquino also graced the LP-led coalition’s kickoff for the local race in vote-rich Manila last April 1.
At a press briefing last week, the President said that he wants to “increase efforts” for the 12 candidates he is endorsing for Senate seats in the upcoming polls.
“I think I am leading also by example. We believe we are espousing a certain ideology,” Aquino said at a press conference last Tuesday.
The President likewise assured the public that while he is campaigning for his slate, he makes sure that he does his duties as the country’s top elected official. He said he checks ongoing projects, conducts dialogues with local officials, and meets with the security sector when he visits provinces for sorties.
The President does not only campaign for his slate on the ground; he has also appeared in various television advertisements for the administration ticket.
In the LP-led coalition’s first political advertisement for the 2013 polls, Aquino endorsed the administration’s 12 senatorial bets, while warning against candidates who he said were posing as his supporters.
Quite noticeably, the administration slate’s television commercials used the catchphrase that helped Aquino win the presidency in 2010—“daang matuwid.” Even the background used in these advertisements, which featured a straight brown path cutting through a field of green grass, was a throwback Aquino’s presidential campaign.
The President was also featured in several political ads of individual Team PNoy senatorial hopefuls. For instance, he gave a testimonial for his cousin, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino Ivm the senatorial hopeful’s TV ad.
In some campaign advertisements, the President even did things that showed his lighter side. He cracked a joke in Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara’s ad, and even sang with another administration senatorial hopeful, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros.
Capitalizing on PNoy’s popularity
For Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER) executive director Ramon Casiple, President Aquino’s participation in the administration’s slate campaign is a strategy to try to translate the chief executive’s popularity to votes for the LP coalition’s bets.
“Obviously, ginagamit nilang advantage ang popularidad ng pangulo. ‘Yung endorsement niya kasi, malaking bagay na lalo na doon sa mga nahuhuli pa sa surveys,” Casiple said in a phone interview Sunday.
He added that the President’s active role in endorsing his bets for the midterm polls is understable, since he has something to gain from it.
“Nangangampanya rin siya kasi ayaw niyang maging isang lame duck president for the rest of his term. He needs some kind of control sa two houses ng Congress para maisulong iyong kanyang legislative agenda,” Casiple said.
The political analyst further explained that the President may be ramping up support for his bets to ensure that LP remains as the ruling party come the 2016 presidential elections. Aquino chairs the administration party.
“You know, it’s already a given that this midterm elections is already all about 2016. Nangangampanya talaga ang Pangulo para hindi maungusan ang partido niya,” Casiple said. — BM, GMA News