Saturday, January 9, 2010

Teodoro to rely on traditional campaigning

By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 14:09:00 01/09/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Politics, Research

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines – As he trails in the surveys, administration standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro isn't waiting for a spark to propel his ratings, but will rely on the traditional way of campaigning.

"I'll just go on with what I'm doing. I have a set schedule where I'll go and what fora I will attend. If there's such a spark, then that's just a bonus. You can't create spark. They don't work that way,'' Teodoro said in a recent interview.

The party strategy remained barnstorming the traditional way –
roadshows (when the campaign period starts), campus tours and forums – plus a dose of TV ads, he added.

"The strategy will be exposure. It will be balanced. TV ads are part of the strategy. As we go around trying to consolidate our local candidates, naturally it will jell,'' he said.

Teodoro continued to lag way behind consistent leaders Senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Villar Jr. and deposed president Joseph Estrada in the polls, with four months to go before the May presidential election.

In a Dec. 27-28 Social Weather Station survey commissioned by Villar's ally, the former defense secretary had only five percent of the 2,100 respondents declaring they would vote for him if elections were held now.

Aquino kept the lead with 44 percent, followed by Villar's 33 percent and Estrada's 15 percent.

Teodoro, who quit the top defense post to seek the administration party's nomination as its standard-bearer in November, conceded that his three rivals had a good head start, on top of being national figures.

"It's only been in November that I really started going around. Others have been there for two years. President Estrada is a former President. Senator Aquino is a nationally elected official,'' he said.

But the former Cabinet official was unfazed by the fact that some newspaper columnists and radio commentators talked only of Aquino, Villar and Estrada as if they were the only candidates.

"With my experiences as a legislator and secretary of national defense, the ups and downs of it, the pressure I had felt during storm “ [Tropical Storm] Ondoy,” I don't mind as long as I'm focused with what I'm doing. I won't get distracted by things like that. I'm not an insecure person,'' he said.

Teodoro, who spoke last Thursday at the Technological University of the Philippines in Manila and later drew a mob of students seeking his autograph and a picture with him, declared: "At the end of the day, I feel my chance is very, very good.''

"Those people who have never seen me, but believe in me, that serves as an inspiration. To them and to the country I owe things, and not to people who say this or that,'' he added.

Some of the TUP students professed in the open forum that they believed he was capable to lead the country, but had reservations about voting for him because of his ties to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. To this, he replied: "Judge me as me.''

Original Story:

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