TV host Willie Revillame went viral last night after he announced he won’t be filing a certificate of candidacy (COC) for next year’s elections, despite the encouragement of some current government officials. Many netizens praised him for his move and expressed their wish for other celebrities to think like him. Here’s what went down:
Rumors of his political plans came up some time ago
Last March and in the months to follow, there were rumors of Willie Revillame possibly running for a senatorial office. This came after he was spotted with Bong Go and Salvador Medialdea and other similar meetings. A few months later, the TV host said he would make an announcement in the first week of August, and many thought that he would be announcing his plans to join the upcoming elections. He also made some statements that made it sound like he had plans to run.
Even President Duterte encouraged him
President Rodrigo Duterte also sent a video to Revillame to encourage him to join the elections as a candidate. “Matagal na tayong ‘di nagkita pero palagi kitang naaalala dahil gusto ko sanang maging senador ka (We haven’t seen each other in a while, but I always remember you because I hope you’d become a senator),” he said in the video.
Netizens react to his possible political plans
When these rumors about his possible candidacy came out, Revillame received a lot of criticism. Netizens weren’t happy that a celebrity lacking the proper background and experience to handle politics is being endorsed to run for office.
DUTERTE IS ASKING WILLIE REVILLAME TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT????? ANO TO LOKOHAN
— eza (@zmgnhwan) June 13, 2021
Pag si Willie Revillame nangampanya as senator, mamimigay siya ng jacket at siyempre five thousand para iboto siya.
— Leander (@leanderings) June 13, 2021
But it seems Kuya Wil knows his strengths and weaknesses
Willie Revillame just gained my respect!!!!! THIS MINDSET PLS
You do not need a position to help! pic.twitter.com/3MBDZzB421
— Elle (@ellearora) October 7, 2021
Yesterday, during his show Wowowin-Tutok To Win, Revillame confirmed that he has no plans to run in any position in the upcoming elections. “Sa araw pong ito, tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ang Wowowin. Hindi ko po kailangan kumandidato. Hindi ko po kailangan manalo. Ang kailangan ko ay makasama kayo. Dahil sa puso ko, sa isip ko dapat laging ang mga Pilipino, kayo ang Pilipino.”
He listed some reasons he came up with that made him believe that politics really is not for him. “Kung sakaling tatakbo ako sa Senado, hindi naman ko magaling mag-English. Wala akong alam sa batas,” the host added. “Baka wala naman akong maiaambag na batas. Baka dumating din ang time na sayang ang boto niyo sa akin na wala akong nagagawa.”
Netizens find hope in his statement
“Sana all” and “Bigyan ng jacket” are what most netizens are saying. The host received praise for his decision not to join politics and to stay in the showbiz industry instead.
Willie Revillame on COC
Certificate of Contract (on GMA) >>> Certificate of Candidacy
You made a right decision, Kuya Wil.
— (@me_ivancs) October 7, 2021
Willie Revillame admitting to the public that he doesn’t have the qualifications to run for senator. Tama ang desisyon mo kuya wil
— keso || THE FEELS 2021 10.01 (@_cheeseukimbapp) October 7, 2021
kuya Wil understood the assignment! ✨ https://t.co/BW42idBIe9
— Sol A (@amcielgi) October 7, 2021
However, despite the mostly positive feedback, there are some netizens who remain skeptical due to a party list organized by his close friends and colleagues, which bears a name similar to his show.
Right after saying he isn’t running – his close friends and colleagues from Frontrow filed for a partylist called “TUTOK TO WIN”. Not clear yet if he’s affiliated, but they used the namesake of his show. pic.twitter.com/mk8OWyt9Au
— Austine (@austinedal1) October 7, 2021
How we wish other candidates would think like this
Sana all talaga. During this week of filing of COCs, many familiar faces have come up from current government officials seeking reelection to local celebrities who have limited (if none at all) knowledge on politics. There are even some names aiming for some of the highest positions in the nation.
Willie Revillame spitting facts about himself not being qualified for a national position. Yes please we prefer you helping people without being in a position. Stay there koya wel.
— #LabanLeni | #ChelDiokno ✨ (@valenciano22_) October 7, 2021
Many of these celebrities have little to no prior experience in the realm of law and politics and bank on the power of their celebrity status. A lot of netizens are asking, why can’t these celebrities simply help without being in a political position? Buti pa daw si Willie Revillame, na-accept na makakatulong siya without a position.
It’s not a popularity contest
Or at least, it shouldn’t be. Most of the aforementioned names are familiar not just to you, but more importantly, they’re familiar to the masses who make up a large percentage of the Philippines’ electorate. And in a country where name recall works best, local celebrities with their star power have a big chance of getting those votes. This has been proven time and again over the years by the placement of celebrities-turned-”politicians”.
That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves and the people around us that the upcoming elections should not be a popularity contest. Like Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto said, “Kumbinsihan, hindi pagdikta.” What’s at stake in Halalan 2022 is the overall situation of the collective Filipino, not the individual, because our vote in the elections would dictate how the Philippines would look in the next six years.
Are you registered to vote yet?
Having this discourse about celebrities in political spheres is all well and good, but you should make sure that you have the power to translate your thoughts into actions. And the most important action you could make as a citizen is to exercise your right to vote. So make sure you’re a registered voter for the upcoming elections. You have until the end of this month!