Press Release
May 7, 2016

Hateful, divisive campaign rhetoric must end now - Drilon

On the eve of the May 9 elections, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today urged candidates to leave behind the hateful and divisive rhetoric of the campaign period, and help prepare for the smooth transition into power of the country's next set of leaders.

"It is time to stop all the hatred and viciousness which has been so aplenty during this campaign season. We must accept and support whatever the public's decision will be," Drilon, a frontrunner senatorial candidate, said.

Drilon said that candidates, especially those who will win at tomorrow's elections, must take the initiative to convince the public to move on, and ensure that transferring power between the outgoing and incoming administrations will be orderly and non-violent.

"We all have the responsibility of unifying our nation, so that we can all work together to address our real problems and enemies - such as poverty and injustice," he said.

He recalled that during the general elections of 1992, as Executive Secretary, he helped preside over the smooth transition of power between outgoing President Cory Aquino and then incoming President Fidel Ramos. It was the first transition of power after more than 20 years of martial law.

Back then, Drilon had been previously offered to run as senator under the Lakas ng Tao party, but he opted to remain in his position to help manage the historic process.

"At that time, making sure that the transfer of power remains peaceful was a challenge, since it was the first democratic elections after 20 years of martial rule. Fortunately, we succeeded," he said.

Drilon lamented that in comparison, the 2016 elections has been particularly toxic and heavy in mudslinging and negative propaganda, not only among candidates, but even among voters.

"While I highly appreciate the level of involvement of our countrymen with the elections, it makes me sad to see that even ordinary people are quarreling among themselves because of the toxic political environment," Drilon said.

"It is not nice to see politicians hurling all kinds of abuse towards their rivals just to get elected. But it is worse to see people fight and alienate their friends and families just because they will not vote for the same people," he added.

"So this time around, I am extremely hopeful that we can leave all of this toxic and divisive campaign rhetoric behind, and be a united country once more," he concluded.

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