With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, the camps of Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte have both released dueling web advertisements Tuesday. Based on recent public opinion polls, the two are now the top contenders for the presidency, with erstwhile front runners Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration standard bearer Mar Roxas lagging behind.
Poe’s latest 30-second ad opens with successive images of working class Filipinas while a somber tune can be heard in the background. “Bakit tayong mga babae, binabastos, binabalewala, minamaliit, hinihiya?” (Why do us Filipinas always get disrespected, neglected, belittled, and humiliated?) Poe asks rhetorically.
“Sa gobyernong may puso, gagalangin ang lahat, mayaman o mahirap. Ganun dapat ang pangulo,” (Under my government, everyone will be respected, whether rich or poor. That’s how a President should be.) she goes on to say.
This is the Senator’s most direct appeal yet to women voters, with Poe’s campaign seeking to highlight a contrast between her and Duterte, who is still reeling from intense criticisms after a video of him making a crude rape joke surfaced online.
Meanwhile, action star Robin Padilla is the featured celebrity in Duterte’s newest ad. Recorded in black-and-white, Padilla began his spiel by declaring that he didn’t get paid for the ad.
“Ginagawa ko ito dahil naniniwala ako na para sa bayan, hindi ka dapat binabayaran! Ang pagbabago, hindi nabibili,” (“I am doing this because I believe that if you are doing something for your country, then you should do it for free. Change is priceless!”) the actor said, claiming that Duterte himself never takes bribes. “Si Duterte nga hindi tumatanggap (ng suhol), ako pa?” (“If Duterte cannot be paid, then why should I be?”)
Padilla then urged his fellow celebrities to come out and offer their support to Duterte despite not getting compensated. “Kaya mga kapatid kong artista, lumantad kayo, wag kayong matakot. Ipakita ninyo ang inyong libreng pagsuporta sa inang bayan dahil kapag para sa bayan, hindi ka dapat binabayaran,” (“To my fellow artists, please come out now and don’t be afraid. Show your support for the country for free because when it comes to doing something for the country, you shouldn’t get paid!”) he said while pointing to the camera.