Isko Moreno Unfazed by Rallies' Turnout, Trusts the 'Silent Majority'


Do rally turnouts matter? To presidential aspirant Manila City Mayor Franscisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso of Aksyon Demokratiko and Team Isko Chief Campaign Strategist Lito Banayo, it's a matter of getting "real supporters"—or those from the "silent majority."

"Don't panic, it's organic," Moreno would also say.

While his fellow candidates are focusing on turnouts for grand rallies, Moreno is banking on his camp's strategy of conducing localized field sorties instead. His town halls, courtesy calls to local mayoral offices, and motorcades to far-flung areas in and around the country is the backbone of his campaign.

Last week, Team Isko's campaign went to Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Bohol, Rizal, and Antique, to name a few. His "lean and mean" sorties the past few weeks, as his camp pointed out, had gathered tens of thousands of supporters "organically."

Banayo told reporters in Angono, Rizal that the ground reception for Moreno has been strong.

“I think many of you have covered our field sorties. And you’ve seen the warmth. These are organic. We do not bring people to our rallies. In fact, we do not have big rallies, for that matter because we don’t consider that to be cost-effective," said Banayo. "I mean, it costs a lot of money but the correlation between voting and presence in campaign rallies where you have big-time entertainers does not correlate on a one-on-one basis."

In Tagbiliran City, Moreno drew an estimated 40,000 people while in Butuan City, the figure was roughly at 10,000. In Toledo City and Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu earlier this month, his local campaigns were attended by 20,000 and 35,000 supporters, respectively. His concert-rally along T.M. Kalaw Street, on the other hand, gathered 80,000 attendees.


Moreno believes in the power of the silent majority, as well.

"Maraming tao ang tahimik lang o 'yung tinatawag na ‘silent majority’—they keep their votes to themselves. Natatakot sila kasi baka awayin at mapagsalitaan sila ng hindi maganda o mawalan sila ng trabaho kaya nanahimik na lang sila," he said in a post.

The Manila City mayor kicks off his campaign tour this week in Iloilo. It still remains to be seen, however, if Team Isko's somewhat unorthodox strategy is translating into its desired results. The Manila City mayor at 8 percent trailed former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at 56 percent and Vice President Leni Robredo at 24 percent during the last Pulse Asia poll in early April.

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Bryle B. Suralta
Assistant Section Editor
Bryle B. Suralta is a Filipino cultural critic, editor, and essayist. He writes about art, books, travel, people, current events, and all the magic in between. His past work in film and media can be found on PeopleAsia Magazine, The Philippine Star, MANILA BULLETIN, and IMDB.
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