‘AlDub’ won’t have part in political circus–Tito Sotto
Sorry, folks, the popular “AlDub” couple of GMA 7 will not use their celebrity status to win votes for reelectionist Sen. Tito Sotto or any politician in next year’s national elections.
Sotto said Monday that GMA 7 talent Alden Richards and YouTube star Maine Mendoza, aka “Yaya Dub,” will not stump for him when he runs for another term in the Senate.
Why? Sotto said he wanted to be seen as a serious candidate.
“I am setting the example so that politicians will know we mean it. And we do not want our Dabarkads (gang) to be politicized,” said Sotto. Before going into politics, he was part of the popular comedy trio of Tito, Vic and Joey, the main hosts of the longtime GMA 7 noontime show “Eat Bulaga,” now known as “EB.”
The trio, also known as the “masters of toilet humor,” has expanded the EB gang into the Dabarkads, which now includes Richards and Mendoza.
Sotto told the Inquirer that the AlDub pair had received many “big offers” from politicians, including two presidential candidates whose camps had approached Richards and Mendoza separately to ask them to join their campaigns.
Barred from politics
He said Richards and Mendoza had turned down the offers, and EB had barred them from joining political campaigns or even from talking politics.
Being part of the EB team for the past 36 years, Sotto said he was very much aware of the “pulse of the people,” adding that people would be disappointed if Richards and Mendoza got involved in politics.
He said AlDub had also received juicy offers to endorse products, but had also been barred from accepting any for now.
The demand for political and product endorsements followed TV ratings that showed they are currently the hottest love team on national television.
The AlDub phenomenon became hotter after the pair met in person on Saturday for the first time since their kalyeserye (street series) romance was launched in July.
Their brief meeting generated more than 5 million tweets from the grassroots audience, surpassing the 3 million tweets Filipinos made during Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines in January.
‘Friends of everyone’
Sotto said it was better for AlDub to stay politically neutral.
“It’s better that they’re friends of everyone,” he said.
Sotto laughed and said he did not even need to invite Bayola because Bayola and comedy partner Jose Manalo were sure to invite themselves to his campaign, as they did before.
Sotto went into politics in 1998, getting elected vice mayor of Quezon City. He served up to 1992 then ran for a seat in the Senate, polling nearly 12 million votes to top that year’s senatorial election.
His victory made him the third member of his family to be elected to the Senate, after his grandfather, Vicente Yap Sotto (who served from 1946 to 1950), and granduncle, Filemon Sotto (1916-1922).
Sotto was reelected to the Senate in 1988, placing third, but lost the 2007 race as part of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Team Unity.
He came back in 2010, getting elected to the Senate as a member of businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco’s Nationalist People’s Coalition party.