Dingdong Dantes admits in an interview that he was offered a large sum of money to endorse another political candidate. However, he did not accept it because he already gave his full support to presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
"Noong sinabi naman sa akin 'yon, hindi na rin ako nagtanong din, e. Even ngayon, hindi ako interesadong malaman talaga kung ano 'yong exact figures. Kahit ako, I'll leave it at that. Basta alam ko lang na may nagtanong at may counter-offer. Tinapos ko na doon," Dingong told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other media during the campaign rally of Ayos NA (Advocacy of Youth and Students for Noynoy Aquino) at San Andres Sports Complex in Manila last May 1.
According to Dingdong, he really exerts effort to campaign for Sen. Aquino because he believes in what he can do if he is elected as president. "Kasi, para lang din siyang isang produkto na ineendorso na kinakailangang you have to believe in what you're promoting," the matinee idol said.
Dingdong does not mind the money and the energy he has spent for these campaign rallies. For the TV host-actor, "Mas masarap kasi... Hindi mo man ma-earn lahat 'yon, kung ma-earn mo man, matagal-tagal, ang kapalit naman noon ay ang paniniwala mo na, you know, that the future is at stake. Magkakaroon tayo ng isang hindi corrupt system. Kapag 'yon ang natanggal mo, everything will go on smoothly."
Despite his busy schedule, Dingdong still manages to go around the country to encourage youth volunteers for Sen. Aquino. He did this while he was still filming his reunion movie with girlfriend Marian Rivera, You To Me Are Everything. Did the Aquinos promise Dingdong anything if Sen. Noynoy is elected?
"Wala. Hindi ko alam ang mga ganyang bagay, e," he said. "Mas maganda na malaman niya [Sen. Aquino] na hindi naman kinakailangan ng ganun. Pero siyempre, I will always show him that our support for him will always remain. So kung anuman ang makatutulong sa kanya, nandito kami parati. At hindi lang naman para sa kanya. We're doing this, of course, for the whole country as well."
THE YOUTH FOR COMMON GOAL. Dingdong, who already mentioned before that he's not interested in politics, also said that he never really gave it a thought because he wanted to focus on his career in show business.
"Ako naman kasi, gusto kong mag-focus sa mga kakayahan ko, e. Sa ngayon, ang pinakamalaking kakayahan ko ay sa industriya ng pag-arte at pagho-host. Itong mga bagay na ito, ginagawa ko lang kasi siyempre, feeling ko lang, it's also our duty as citizens na makialam kahit papaano," he said.
The lead convenor of Ayos NA also promised that even after election, his group will still be active in strengthening the youth sector.
"'Yong grupo naman na nabuo namin na 'to, hindi naman ibig sabihin na after the elections, babalewalain na lang namin ang lahat ng members, lahat ng youth. Hindi, e, marami kaming ongoing programs. Alam mo 'yon, masaya, e, masayang nakikita na nag-i-interact ang youth, 'tapos for a common goal. So, sana sa mga supporters namin, tuluy-tuloy. Even beyond the elections, sana nandiyan pa rin sila."
ON MUDSLINGING. During the interview, Dingdong was also asked about the negative issues being thrown at Sen. Aquino. The most recent was Manny Pacquiao's line in presidential candidate Manny Villar's TV campaign ad that might be referring to Sen. Aquino: "Mayroong iba diyan, laban nang laban sa salita pero wala pa namang nagawa."
What is Dingdong's reaction to this?
"To promote someone, hindi mo na dapat sana siraan ang kabila," commented Dingdong. "You should focus on your strengths. I believe they also have lots of strengths. So, let's focus on that rather than stepping on other people. Kasi nakaka-hurt din, e, kahit anong konteksto mo pa sabihin 'yan. Parang sinupalpalan mo ang nakararami.
"Nakakalungkot na kinakailangang humantong sa mga black propaganda, sa pag-iimbento, na alam naman nating napatunayan nang hindi totoo. Sana na lang, kung magpo-promote ng isang bagay o isang tao, focus on the strengths rather than hanapan nila ng butas or hanapan nila ng masama, lalung-lalo na kung imbento pa. Huwag na lang sanang ganun."