Otso Diretso defeat sends a strong message: Panelo

“The victory of the Administration’s candidates and the shut out of the Otso Diretso candidates send a strong message that our people yearn for stability and continuity of the genuine reforms that the Administration started,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

He said that the people “yearn for a constructive – not obstructionist – Senate which will help in crafting the President’s legislative agenda.”

“Undoubtedly, the Duterte magic spelled the difference. The overwhelming majority of the electorate have responded to the call of the President to support those whom he said would help pass laws supportive of his goal to uplift the masses of our people and give them comfortable lives they richly deserve,” he said.

“The voters rejected the negative propaganda unleashed by the opposition against PRRD and his Administration, e.g. issues of extra-judicial killings, drug war, South China Sea, among others,” he added.

However, Panelo thanked Otso Diretso candidates and their supporters “for giving your best shot and fighting a good battle.”

“As we have said, we respect dissent as it vitalizes the democracy of our nation. In the end, however, it is the will of the people that prevails,” he added. “While we expect dissent to continue, we hope that that same be demonstrated with fairness and within the bounds of the law, as well as with deference to the leaders duly chosen by the electorate.”

“We only have one government and one nation. Together let us support it for the betterment of the Philippines that we all love,” he said.