By Macon Ramos-Araneta and John Paolo Bencito
SENATORS Grace Poe and Francis Escudero will not get tired reminding all candidates in next year’s elections to refrain from mudslinging and other forms of negative campaigning that are counter-productive, their spokesman said Friday.
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said if some candidates or groups felt alluded to and were offended by his previous statements warning against mudslinging and black propaganda, he was sorry but his appeal would stay.
“Batu-bato sa langit, ang tamaan ‘wag magagalit,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“Is it wrong to fight traditional politics of personalities, mudslinging and black propaganda instead of platforms?”
Gatchalian made his statement even as Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appealed to his fellow candidates to abandon smear tactics and adhere to issue-related campaigning.
“We owe it to the electorate to elevate the level of the discussion, especially of the pressing issues facing the country today such as our problems on drugs, rising prices and criminality and how we plan to address them,” Marcos said.
“While mudslinging could be entertaining to some, it will not help us at all,” said Marcos who is running as the vice president of presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defenso-Santiago.
Meanwhile, Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II on Friday claimed he had nothing to do with the accusations of black propaganda being attributed to him and the members of the ruling party.
“I know what I do, have done, have spoken and I have not, in any case, in any way have led into these cases,” Roxas told reporters.
Gatchalian vowed that Poe and Escudero would keep campaigning on a highly professional level and maintain fairness to all candidates, and that they expected the others to do the same.
He said negative campaigning and dirty politicking had no place in Team Grace-Chiz.
“We will keep the level of discourse high and respectable and we will not engage in negative campaigning,” Gatchalian said.