As the clock is ticking on her much-awaited decision on a 2022 presidential run, Vice President Leni Robredo asked her allies at the Liberal Party (LP) to trust that she would make the right decision soon.
The Philippine opposition leader met with members of the LP’s National Executive Council in a virtual but closed-door meeting on Tuesday, September 28 – just days before the filing of candidacies for the high-stakes 2022 polls is set to begin. Robredo is LP chairperson.
LP, however, ended its convention on Tuesday with five names for its initial senatorial slate but still no standard-bearer for the polls that would elect President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor.
LP used to dominate Philippine politics when it was the ruling party during the Benigno Aquino III administration, but it lost many members to the new ruling PDP-Laban.
Robredo said she was still in “deep discernment” about her potential presidential run, reiterating that her primary consideration is to ensure that the “anti-democratic, anti-rights, corrupt, and self-serving” kind of governance under Duterte would be stopped in 2022.
She hinted she might even end up deciding on her 2022 bid on the last day of filing or on October 8.
“Ang overriding imperative talaga natin ngayon, ‘yung mai-reverse ang trajectory of governance ng bansa. ‘Yung mawakasan ‘yung brand ng governance na anti-democratic, anti-rights, corrupt, at self-serving, na ugat ng pagdurusa at pagkamatay ng maraming Pilipino,” Robredo said.
(The overriding imperative right now is to really reverse the trajectory of governance in the country. We want to put an end to this brand of governance that is anti-democratic, anti-rights, corrupt, and self-serving, which is the root cause of the suffering and deaths of so many Filipinos.)
“‘Yung mga araw natin ngayon have been filled with deep discernment, at ng marami at paulit-ulit na pag-reach-out sa pinakamalawak na hanay para maabot ‘yung layunin natin,” she added.
(The past days have been filled with deep discernment, and I have been reaching out to many people to build the broadest possible alliance to achieve our goals.)
Robredo – who continues to suffer from poor numbers in pre-election surveys – asked for patience and understanding from her party mates. Many of her allies and supporters have been egging her to run for president.
“Patuloy ang dalangin at pagpupursige ko para masagot ang mga tanong na ito sa paraang makatao at makatarungan. At nagpapasalamat ako sa inyong tiwala. ‘Yung aking dasal lang ay in the next week or so, dagdagan pa natin ‘yung dasal, dagdagan pa natin ‘yung tiwala,” said the Vice President.
(I continue to pray and exert effort to answer these questions in a way that is most humane and just. And I am thankful for your trust. I only hope that in the next week or so, you would continue to pray for me and have trust in me.)
Unity talks still being pursued
Robredo believes only a broad and united opposition coalition has a chance to win in 2022. Her efforts to forge a united front is a parallel initiative to that of the 1Sambayan coalition, which earlier named Robredo among its presidential nominees.
Her goal is not just about stopping the authoritarian regime of Duterte from persisting in 2022. She wants a united opposition, too, so they could also prevent the likely presidential bid of former senator Bongbong Marcos, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
In turn, LP adopted a resolution on Tuesday placing its “full support, trust, and confidence” in Robredo’s efforts “to unite the broadest possible coalition for democracy and good government” in 2022.
The Liberals gave their party chairperson the “full authority and discretion” to forge agreements with other political parties and personalities to meet Robredo’s goals.
Robredo has been taking pains to forge an umbrella coalition, spending the past weeks meeting with other potential contenders like Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, as well as boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao – who have both announced their own presidential bids.
But the Vice President is not yet giving up on the unity talks. – Rappler.com