Ramos to poll tailenders: Don’t be discouraged, soldier on
By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Former President Fidel Ramos Monday said presidential candidates should not be discouraged by poor performance in the latest surveys.
Speaking to reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon his arrival from a business trip in Taiwan, Ramos said that when he ran for president in 1998, he initially got low ratings in the surveys conducted a few months before the elections and in the early weeks of the campaign period.
Asked what administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro Jr. should do amid his low ratings, Ramos said: “Just be sure you be [your] own man and stick to our own strategies, issues, directions and plans for the well-being of our people and the security of our country.”
Ramos said his unsolicited advice to all presidential candidates is: “Look at the future of our country in terms of the next generations, not only just the six years within a presidential term.”
To all those who got low ratings, Ramos said: “Don’t worry about it; it’s too early. But the low ratings are an indication to work harder.”
He said when he was running for president, his place in the surveys varied from first to third. He said it was only during the three to two weeks before the elections that he was able to gain momentum.
The former President said he would be making public who among the “presidentiables” he would support after Holy Week.
“So far, I’m only convinced who are the ones I’m not going to endorse,” he replied when asked he had chosen one already.
Asked if his search for the candidate he would endorse was a futile exercise since as a member of the administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD he was expected to endorse Teodoro, its standard-bearer, Ramos said his support was not automatic.
“I suggested to him (Teodoro) to do one thing. It has not yet happened but he is likely to do it,” Ramos said. He declined to elaborate.