Otso Diretso bets insist that supposed Scarborough trip is not a publicity stunt: 'Ang orig na publicity stunt ay ang jetski ni Duterte'

Otso Diretso Florin Hilbay, Gary Alejano, Samira Gutoc, and Chel Diokno / photo from CNN

Otso Diretso senatorial bets insist that their supposed visit to the Scarborough Shoal was not for a publicity stunt.

Reportedly, the opposition candidates only want to remind President Rodrigo Duterte of his promise to protect the Philippines and fight against China.

Samira Gutoc said that the issue is not about them doing it for publicity or not, but it should be about the administration, to hear the struggles of the local fisher folks.

For ex-Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, they only called out the President for not fulfilling his promise during the campaign and said that it was Duterte who originally made the publicity stunt.

"Yung ginawa namin, hindi siya publicity stunt. We're just calling out the President for a promise that he made. Ang original na publicity stunt ay yung jetski niya, and we're just holding him accountable for a promise that he made," Hilbay said.

Meanwhile, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said that their act was a symbol to challenge the Chief Executive to fight for the country’s sovereignty.  

"Lahat ng mga kandidato kung sila ay naniniwala na importante ang kasarinlan natin, samahan nila kami at igigiit natin ang ating kasarinlan diyan sa West Philippine Sea," he said

On Monday, Gutoc, Hilbay, Chel Diokno and Alejano of Otso Diretso attempted to visit Scarborough Shoal as they brought their campaign to the coastal town of Masinloc in Zambales.

However, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) denied the candidates' requests to visit the shoal, citing "national security."

"Otso Diretso candidates did not ask permission from PCG, that's the reason why they were not allowed to go to Scarborough Shoal," PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo explained as reported by ANC.

Source: Kami, ABS CBN

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