- Mayor’s campaign manager says they hope to turn pro-Duterte OFW groups into a united front
- The OFWs will be tasked to convince at least five family members to vote for him
- Campaign coordinator says they are all volunteers and unaligned with any political group
MANILA, Philippines – While he may lack the massive funds and political machineries of his rivals, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is getting a much-needed lift from a grassroots campaign initiated by OFWs.
According to his campaign manager Leoncio Evasco Jr., their team has mobilized around 600,000 OFWs belonging to different pro-Duterte groups worldwide to form a coalition for the mayor.
The OFWs have formed 162 “chapters” and counting across the world.
“In the past few months there was not much effort to consolidate,” he told Rappler. “Now we are putting them in the loop because we feel this is an important sector.”
According to OFW slash coordinator Arnel Corpuz, one of their their principal tasks is to encourage their fellow OFWs to convince at least five family members to vote for Duterte.
“We are the breadwinner of our respective families and we will be using it to influence our loved ones to vote for Duterte,” he said; adding that the OFWs involved in the campaign are all politically-unaffiliated volunteers who are willing to sacrifice their time and effort for the mayor.
“No one gave orders to form the groups,” he said. “These are all from OFW volunteers. We have no leader, (but) we just help each other out.”
Duterte, who is popular with the public due to his tough stance on crime and no-nonsense style of governance, has frequently voiced out his lack of money and machinery to launch an effective nationwide sortie.
In turn, many of Duterte’s supporters have embarked on a non-traditional campaign by utilizing the power of social media.