With less than three weeks to go before the May 9 elections, a number of professional athletes are hitting the court in the last quarter to endorse former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Senate run, saying the veteran lawmaker has always been a fervent supporter of Philippine sports.
Numerous video clips have been surfacing on social media, including that of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players Arwind Santos, JC Intal, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Jay-R Reyes, lauding him for “putting us athletes first.”
“Doon tayo sa humahanap at gumagawa ng paraan,” said Cyrus Baguio of NLEX Road Warriors.
TnT Katropa Point Guard Jason Castro, for his part, said athletes like him would “always be on top” with Cayetano in the Senate.
Key members of the Philippine Volleyball Men’s and Women’s teams have also said they will back Cayetano’s Senate run.
Men’s Team Captain John Vic De Guzman, Women’s Team Captain Aby Marano, and professional volleyball player Mika Reyes jointly expressed their support for the former House Speaker.
“Sa darating na eleksyon, piliin natin ang mga kandidatong may tunay na malasakit, may karanasan sa paglilingkod, at maka-Diyos,” they said.
Meanwhile, as videos of athletes continue to come out on social media, Cayetano also thanked those who have staged bike caravans in the last couple of months, heeding his call for an eco-friendly campaign that does away with printed materials and motorcades.
“Maraming salamat sa ating mga kababayan na patuloy na nagpapakita ng suporta para sa ating eco-friendly lead by example campaign. Kayo po ang nagpapatotoo na kaya natin ang ganitong klaseng kampanya,” Cayetano said.
The former Speaker said efforts like these have kept his campaign focused on the serious issue of environment protection, which is particularly important during the election season when tons of printed material end up as trash after the campaign period.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Filipino electorate for consistently putting him among the most preferred senatorial candidates throughout the campaign period.
“I have always trusted the Filipino people. They’ve always known what is best for them, and if I’m part of the preferred group, that’s always welcome news,” Cayetano said.
Despite mounting an eco-friendly campaign that has done away with printed campaign materials and public motorcades, Cayetano has come out among the top preferred candidates in voter preference, placing at both the #1 spot and #2 position repeatedly, since the campaign began in February.
The former Speaker said candidates’ public statements should match the actions they take even before getting elected to office.
“You can lead in the surveys but if you remain silent on important issues, or if you reach the top while your campaign contributes to pollution, then something is wrong,” he said.
The former Speaker has taken a strong stance on a number of issues even before the campaign started, calling for a total ban on online cockfighting or e-sabong which he said poses a grave threat to society, especially to young Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers.
He also began an eco-friendly campaign in February and has asked his supporters to plant trees, mangroves, and urban gardens in their respective areas.
“This kind of campaign is not for everyone. It’s not easy, but since I’ve been in government for 30 years now, I want this campaign to be meaningful. And for me it’s meaningful if I really stand up for what I believe in, he said.