2022 Philippine Elections

1Sambayan wants presidential bet to embody PNoy’s ‘honest’ governance

Mara Cepeda
1Sambayan wants presidential bet to embody PNoy’s ‘honest’ governance

PNOY. The late former president Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III answers questions directed to him by New York Times reporters Javier Hernandez and Floyd Whaley during an interview at the Presidents Hall Sala of Malacañang on May 19, 2016.

Malacañang

1Sambayan convenors say character, honesty, and integrity are essential qualities of the late president that they want their 2022 standard-bearer to also possess

The convenors of the 1Sambayan opposition coalition said the legacy of decent and honest governance left behind by the late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III will be a factor in choosing their standard-bearer in the 2022 polls. 

In their weekly briefing on Wednesday, August 4, convenor Conchita Carpio Morales said there are traits of Aquino that they want to “adopt” in determining the presidential candidate they will be supporting in the high-stakes elections that would elect President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor. 

This is not surprising, as some 1Sambayan convenors like Morales, former Ombudsman, and former presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles were appointees of Aquino. 

The former president died due to renal disease secondary to diabetes on June 24.

Aquino was the chairman emeritus of the once-ruling Liberal Party, currently chaired by Philippine opposition leader and Vice President Leni Robredo. Robredo, who is still discerning her presidential run in 2022, is among 1Sambayan’s six nominees for president

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Morales cited integrity, character, competence, and winnability as essential qualities for 1Sambayan’s presidential bet. 

“Well, there are traits of PNoy that we want to adopt for purposes of determining who will be endorsed by the 1Sambayan. For example, integrity, character – those are very important traits. Competence, that’s also very important,” said Morales. 

“But competence without integrity is more dangerous than integrity without competence, so we need to balance these traits. Of course, winnability,” she added in a mix of English and Filipino.

Deles also said part of 1Sambayan’s campaign is to bring back accountability in government. 

She hit the Duterte government for its lack of transparency over the ballooning loans for its coronavirus pandemic response. Deles also criticized the President for using the might of the state to silence the media and his critics.

“Definitely, ‘yun ‘yung inaasahan, I think, ‘yun ‘yung kampanya talaga, na ibalik ang tapat na pamamahala…. Sa palagay ko ‘yun ‘yung hinahanap, na minimum na ‘yung iniluklok dapat sumagot, dapat maging accountable doon sa paghawak ng pondo at papaano ginamit ang mga institusyon at pagkakaroon ng mga plano para matugunan ang suliranin ng bayan,” Deles said

(Definitely, that’s what we are hoping, it’s really our campaign to bring back honest governance…. I think it’s the bare minimum for the person to be elected to be accountable in handling funds, tapping institutions, and having a plan in addressing the problems of the country.)

Father Alberto Alejo of the Society of Jesus, another 1Sambayan convenor, said they want their presidential contender to respect Filipino values.

It’s an apparent swipe against the foul-mouthed Duterte, who has gained international notoriety for cussing in his speeches and his sexist remarks. Thousands of drug suspect have died in his bloody anti-drug campaign. 

“Sana ang dapat hahanapin nating lider ay hindi ‘yung mga sisira sa mga Filipino values at isa na diyan ‘yung paggalang sa tamang salita, kasi nakasalalay din diyan ‘yung paggalang sa mga konsepto ng tama at mali,” Alejo said. 

(We hope the leader we are looking for is someone who would not destroy Filipino values, and that includes respect for language, because that also implies respect for the concept of right and wrong.)

1Sambayan is aiming to endorse a single slate of national candidates – president, vice president, and senators – as the group believes only a united opposition can defeat the Duterte forces in 2022

But the coalition is struggling. Out of its six nominees, only Robredo and former senator Antonio Trillanes IV have categorically expressed willingness to join 1Sambayan’s vetting process.

The rest either declined 1Sambayan’s nomination or were non-committal. 

Trouble is also brewing in the opposition after Trillanes took to social media to express his disdain over Robredo’s recent “exploratory” talks with other potential presidential contenders. 

1Sambayan plans to sit down with the Vice President soon to ask her what transpired during these meetings. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.