Campaign leader says Leni leading in NegOcc, calls for clean campaign amid ‘dirty tricks’

April 23, 2022 by No Comments

FORMER Negros Occidental governor Rafael “Lito” Coscolluela said yesterday, April 22, that Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo is enjoying a lead in the presidential race, specifically in the province.Coscolluela, who is the provincial campaign manager of Robredo People’s Council (RPC) – Negros Occidental, was referring to the results of the survey they commissioned covering the month April this year.Based on the survey conducted by an independent research group, he said, 41 percent of the 320 Negrenses surveyed chose Robredo for president in the coming May 9 polls leaving behind former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. With 30 percent.“What is [also] significant, there is relatively a high percentage of undecided, 15 to 20 percent,” Coscolluela said in a press conference at the Acacia Hotel in Bacolod City.If this 15 to 20 percent, towards the election day, will say that they made up their mind to vote for Robredo after studying all the candidates, theoretically this will add up to her votes making it about 61 percent.“This [61 percent] is the same percentage we got in 2016 when it was Leni versus Bongbong in the vice presidential race,” he said, adding that in northern Negros, specifically First and Second District, which are Cebuano speaking areas, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is coming out a relatively competitive third in the survey with 12 percent.Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ranked fourth with seven percent while Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson obtained 4.6 percent, the survey results showed.Coscolluela said many of the people surveyed were undecided yet maybe because they are confused about all the misinformation, fake news, trolls and propaganda, among others.For him, some maybe are not just willing to say because of fear for others to know who they are voting for.“This is a very significant percentage of the voters that you have to reach and convince thus, we are bringing our campaign to the ground where the voters are. In fact, we are the only ones with warm bodies bringing the campaign directly to the voters,” he added.Citing the results of the same survey, Coscolluela further said that in Bacolod City alone, Robredo is also leading with 46 percent against Marcos’ 30 percent.Pacquiao obtained 18 percent, Domagoso with three percent while Lacson had zero percent of the votes, Coscolluela said.The survey follows a scientific formula using random selection of areas and respondents, he said, adding that “the survey, third in a monthly series, reflects the results of hard on-ground campaigning by scores of volunteers throughout the province.”(‘Dirty tricks’)Meanwhile, RPC-Negros Occidental is urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate and quickly address the increasing incidence of alleged dirty campaign tricks in various towns and cities in the province.Its head, during the press conference, expressed concern over at least five “dirty tricks” used against the Leni-Kiko campaign such as “pamahog, patalang, pasalig, pamakal and pangbaklas.”Coscolluela said there are Leni-Kiko volunteers who have been victims of threats or “pamahog” and intimidation that is why they are forced to conduct their meetings in other areas.There are also reports on a person wearing a pink shirt while distributing posters of Robredo but with number seven instead of number 10, Coscolleula said, adding that this constitutes deceit or “patalang.”He further said that many Robredo posters placed in strategic locations disappeared or were removed (baklas). Some were sliced into small pieces and reassembled for other candidates.Another dirty trick noted by RPC-Negros Occidental is “pagbakal” or buying the loyalty of the barangay officials, tanods and family leaders by giving them P200 to P1,000.They were asked to vote for other candidates or else they wouldn’t receive any project in the barangay, the former governor claimed.Barangay officials, he said, were also called to attend large gatherings where they will be assured or “pasalig” of a prize if other presidentials candidates win the elections.Coscolluela said these “dirty tricks” are prevalent in areas like Pulupandan, Ilog, Cauayan, La Carlota City and Bago City.“These trapo methods are used by people who are prepared to go to any lengths in order to improve their chances of winning, even if it subverts the people’s free will,” he said.When asked of a particular camp allegedly doing these “dirty tactics,” Coscolluela said “there’s only one camp capable of doing that, that of Bongbong Marcos who has resources and political clout.””It only reveals their insecurity as popular support for VP Leni continues to snowball,” the former governor said, who also appealed to all Negrense campaigners to keep their campaign clean.Coscolluela also called on the mayors and other public officials in the province “to lead the people for a clean campaign” and hoped that the Comelec will establish a visibility that will constitute a deterrent.“I am very cofident that Leni will win decisively in Negros Island. We just have to make sure that pro-Leni will be able to vote, have their votes counted and protected until the canvassing,” he added.*