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Philippines Presidential Elections: Nationalista Party changes strategy
The Nacionalista Party of Senator Manny Villar has acknowledged an "uphill battle" in the May elections, prompting it to change its strategy in the last two weeks of the campaign, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
From media battles, the NP will now focus on solidifying its ground support and vote delivery to ensure victory for Villar and his slate, party spokesman and senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla said on Tuesday.
“While we acknowledge the veracity of pre-election polls by various survey firms, we believe that surveys do not make a candidate win. The war has now shifted from media battles to capturing battlegrounds that will deliver the actual votes. This is the real deal, and we are prepared to go for the kill,” Remulla said in a statement.
The statement was in response to the latest Social Weather Station survey showing Villar still behind the consistent frontrunner, Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
The survey conducted from April 16 to 10 gave Aquino a 12 percentage point lead over Villar. But the NP was confident that Aquino's lead would go back to a single-digit level.
“We recognise that it is an uphill battle but a lot has happened since last week and a lot will still happen," Remulla said. "We have suffered continued attacks by both contenders and we are wondering why the concentration is on us, the number two, and not on the number one," he said.
But despite all the attacks, Remulla said, "We are still very much in the running and that our supporters’ resolve has only strengthened further." With two weeks to go before the elections, the NP said it is "going all out to victory."
NP then pointed out a wide cluster of representation, support, and endorsement from all concerned sectors such as the sectoral support for Villar estimated to deliver 15 million votes for him.
To date, the NP said it has fortified its political support-base in the following areas: “solid North” composed of Regions 1, 2, and the Cordilleras; Mindanao, Bohol-Cebu-Capiz in the Visayas, and other areas where NP has become the dominant political party.
In Metro Manila, NP counts on the support of Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and Asenso Manileno, Pasig City Mayor Robert "Bobby" Eusebio and Vice Mayor Rosalio "Yoyong" Martirez and their slate, 100 barangay (village) officials from Caloocan, and the Gatchalians of Valenzuela.