There are winners, losers, and endorsers during elections. The list of winners and losers are now posted online, but it’s also worthwhile identifying the effective endorsers in the recent elections.
Celebrities are the most sought after endorsers. For example, popular TV host Kris Aquino actively and successfully campaigned for her brother, presidential bet Noynoy Aquino. Kris also willingly endorsed the candidacies of several senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party. The two-year old son of Kris was initially present in the campaign sorties of his uncle, but Kris was advised not to bring her son anymore when the kid blurted out the name of Noynoy’s rival during a public rally.
Boxing champion Manny Pacquaio used his star power to help a partylist group that seeks to represent athletes in Congress. Veteran Actor Eddie Garcia, meanwhile, endorsed a regional group which topped the partylist elections. Gabriela, a women’s group, was also endorsed by several celebrities.
Vice presidential candidate Jejomar Binay placed second in pre-election surveys when he was endorsed by Sen. Chiz Escudero, who is famous among the country’s young people. Binay is now leading in the canvassing of votes and is already confident of his impending victory. Whatever happens, the last minute surge in Binay’s numbers is attributed to the endorsement given by Escudero.
Meanwhile, the Iglesia ni Cristo church has boosted its reputation as a potent political bloc that can deliver a solid number of votes to its chosen candidates since many politicians, especially at the local level, owe their victory to the ‘whispering campaign’ of Iglesia ni Cristo members. Proof of the votes delivered by the church is the election returns in various municipalities showing the landslide victory of candidates who were endorsed by the church.
But not all endorsements are welcome. The defeat of leading personalities of the administration party is blamed on their close links with President Gloria Arroyo, who is already the most unpopular Philippine president in recent history, based on public trust ratings. Even presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro didn’t appear on the same stage with Arroyo throughout the campaign period.
Another unwelcome endorsement was given by the Ampatuan clan to Liberal Party standard bearers. Sen. Aquino immediately rejected the endorsement when it was announced by Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan jr. Several Ampatuan family members are accused of masterminding a gruesome massacre of 57 civilians in Maguindanao Province last year.
There are also publicized endorsements that didn’t lead to victories. The open support of influential Pastor Apollo Quiboloy for the candidacy of Teodoro didn’t affect the election results. TV host Willie Revillame and ‘King of Comedy’ Dolphy endorsed Sen. Manny Villar but again this didn’t help Villar. Teen star Sarah Geronimo appeared on several ads of vice presidential bet Loren Legarda, but the senator only placed third in the polls.
Candidates need endorsers to improve their ratings, but sometimes even the most famous celebrities can’t reverse the sentiment of voters. It’s not enough to buy the support of well-known individuals and groups; candidates should first and foremost convince the public that they are superior over their rivals.