Press Release
February 3, 2010


1. I am not surprised with this turn of events. First, our opponents have had a long head start in this campaign. And while I diligently perform my functions as a legislator, the others are practically campaigning fulltime, neglecting their mandate with those who entrusted them with their votes. Second, for all the unprecedented and sustained ads spending in all forms of media of the other camp and the unrelenting and increasingly below-the-belt and baseless black propaganda against me by my opponents, not to mention the harassment we have been continuously getting from this administration--the arbitrary transfers and replacement of police directors, the inexplicably adverse rulings we have been getting from Comelec for our local executives, the abrupt cessation of government projects in provinces friendly to us and lately even the denial of venues for our rally sites-- I am surprised that I am still on top of the surveys.

2. By the day, it is becoming clear that an unholy alliance is developing between this administration and my opponent. No wonder the Palace spokesman couldn't restrain himself in expressing his gratitude to one of my opponents for keeping quiet on the many issues confronting this administration.

3. Of course, that is not to say that we do not face challenges in the campaign. Quite a lot, I must say, foremost of which is the ability to bring our message--a clean, decent, transparent and accountable government will put an end to massive corruption, dedicate precious public resources to basic services for the poor and alleviate our people's hopelessness and poverty--across to as many of our people as possible. It is a strong and relevant message that we are certain has had and will continue to have traction among more and more of our voters. We have been able to address this. In the coming days, we will be able to do this with greater frequency and in a sustained manner through ads.

4. On top of this, I believe that our comparative advantage--the organizational strength coming from our ability to mobilize volunteers all over the country--still has to make itself felt in the campaign. We expect that to happen as we formally start the campaign this February, the historic People Power month.

5. I have been through this before. When I first ran for office as a Congressman in 1998, I faced eight opponents and initially attracted about two-thirds of the votes. After the eight ganged up on me, throwing everything they could at me, my numbers fell to half of what I started with. But since the issues they threw at me did not stick and since I brought a message of change and hope, in the end, I prevailed with plenty to spare.

6. What should not escape all of us is that I still lead the surveys--from the time I declared my candidacy to this day. I would like to assure everyone, especially our supporters, that as the formal campaign period starts, we will work harder to make sure that we remain on top of the fight and the hope of our people for a clean, competent and compassionate government through my tandem with Senator Mar Roxas will be fulfilled.

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