The rallies and big gatherings of some candidates may not necessarily be a show of support as it could be the work of operators out to make a profit during the campaign season, independent presidential bet Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said.
Lacson bared this Wednesday after one of his local support group leaders in Rizal province was approached by one such “hakot” operator.
“Baka gusto ni Sen. Lacson at Sen. Sotto na magkaroon ng maraming tao sa rally, meron kaming mga tao at P500 per person (Sen. Lacson and Sen. Sotto may want to have many people at their rally. We have many participants at P500 per person),” Lacson quoted his organizer as narrating what the operator said, during a press conference after a courtesy call on Zamboanga City Mayor Isabella “Beng” Climaco-Salazar.
This may be a case of the same people attending the rallies of different candidates, he noted.
Citing information reaching him, Lacson said one of his supporters in Rizal was approached by an organizer to pay for rallies where they are to shell out P500 for each participant.
But he said his local leader told the organizer they were not interested because Lacson and his Vice Presidential bet Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III are more interested in holding dialogues and town hall meetings.
“That’s the reality on the ground and most candidates know that. We cannot blame the people because coming from the pandemic ang hirap ng buhay (We cannot blame the people because they have to earn as they are coming from the pandemic),” he said, adding this is part of the “vicious cycle of vengeance” in the culture of politics in the Philippines.
In an earlier tweet, Lacson wrote: “As long as ‘money politics’ dominates our elections, it will be a vicious ‘cycle of revenge’ between candidates and voters: voters having a field day during the campaign period and candidates exacting vengeance for three or six years of victory. Kawawang Pilipinas.”
Meanwhile, Lacson reiterated he and Sotto will continue to hold town hall meetings and dialogues so they would learn from people and vice versa.
“Whatever happens, ang aming consolation sa buhay namin we contributed something to correcting the culture of politics sa ating bansa… issue-based, hindi politics of entertainment or politics of hakot (Whatever happens our consolation would be that we contributed to correcting the culture of politics to make it issue-based and not politics of entertainment or hakot),” he said.