Pink Caravan for Leni, Blue Wave for Isko Test Presidential Campaign Waters

How to win votes in a pandemic.
Photo/s: Team Leni Robredo/Manila PIO

Cars draped in pink for Vice President Leni Robredo and blue for Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, paraded down damp roads across the country over the weekend, providing a preview of the 2022 presidential campaign that is as big on symbolism as it is socially distant.

The Comelec also checked how COVID protocols could be implemented via a voting simulation in a San Juan suburb. While staying several feet apart and with their faces covered in plastic, some 60 million Filipinos will choose who will lead them out of the pandemic.

Dubbed as "Caravan of Hope" and "The Blue Wave", the motorcades aimed to encourage more people to come out and support the candidacies of Robredo and Moreno, who will slug it out next year against the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, also known as Bongbong and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

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"The pink explosion revealed that we are many in number and we know that there are more out there who just need some encouragement to come out in support of VP Leni," said artist and activist Leah Navarro, Team Leni Robredo volunteer and one of the organizers of the event.

MORE ON LENI ROBREDO:

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Moreno's "The Blue Wave" drew thousands of supporters to Metro Manila sidewalks. The event coincided with the birthday of the Manila mayor and his vice presidential running mate Dr. Willie Ong.

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MORE ON ISKO MORENO:

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"Candidates have to convince people or voters that they are strong candidates and they have the capacity to win,” University of the Philippines political science professor Maria Ela Atienza told reportr in an earlier interview.

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“With health protocols in place, campaign strategists have to think of other ways to prove to voters that there is a sizeable support for their candidates,” she added.

The Comelec said the 2022 elections campaign would be less on touch and physical gatherings to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19. The voting simulation activity Saturday at San Juan City elementary school sought to find ways to minimize contact among voters during the election day itself.

While candidates have to rely more on the power of traditional and social media to reach out to voters, touching base and campaigning on ground will not really go away, analysts said.

"Kapag may personal touch, kapag may personal interaction, mas nai-increase yung chances na ma-convince ang isang voter na iboto yung candidate," University of the Santo Tomas political science professor Dennis Coronacion told reportr in a previous interview.

"Kapag nakita ng botante na bumababa sa barangay nila yung kanilang mga kandidato, parang additional pogi points yun sa mga kandidato," he added.

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While the motorcades were ongoing, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio met former senator Bongbgong Marcos in cebu to discuss her regional party could help his presidential bid.

In the end, now matter how many people turn up in motorcades and rallies, it’s still the candidate who gets the biggest support on election day wins.

"Considering that voting is done physically, it would be strategic for candidates to try mobilizing their bases physically to check how many will go out for them on election day," said De La Salle University political science professor Cleve Arguelles.

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