2022 Philippine Elections

For unity’s sake: Seeking VP reelection also an option for Robredo

Mara Cepeda

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For unity’s sake: Seeking VP reelection also an option for Robredo

UNITY TALKS. Vice President Leni Robredo (center) meets with her close advisers and allies from the Liberal Party on September 29, 2021.

Senator Kiko Pangilinan's Instagram account

Vice President Leni Robredo, who is not yet giving up on uniting the opposition in 2022, is still in 'deep discernment' over her own presidential run
For unity’s sake: Seeking VP reelection also an option for Robredo

Philippine opposition leader and Vice President Leni Robredo is so serious about her push to forge a united opposition in 2022 that seeking reelection is among the options she is weighing as the filing of candidacies looms ahead. 

This was confirmed by Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez and Senator Francis Pangilinan, Liberal Party (LP) president who met with Robredo along with other party stalwarts and the Vice President’s close advisers on Wednesday, September 29. 

Pangilinan himself posted an Instagram photo of this meeting held just two days before 2022 hopefuls can begin filing their candidacies on Friday, October 1. 

Pressed by reporters in a virtual press briefing if running for vice president again is an option being explored by Robredo, Pangilinan replied in the affirmative. 

“Napag-usapan dahil that’s part of unity talks, ‘di ba? Hindi naman puwedeng tatlo sabay-sabay tatakbo. Kailangan merong mag-gi-give way. So that’s part of the discussions and the unity talks, ‘di ba?” Pangilinan said. 

(It has been discussed because that’s part of unity talks, right? There can’t be three of them running at the same time. Someone has to give way. So that’s part of the discussions and the unity talks, right?)

This was echoed by Robredo’s spokesperson Gutierrez, who said the Vice President was mulling reelection “if it is necessary for a true collaboration among the various parties.”

“Again, it is testament to her commitment to the talks that she is willing to include this possibility in the discussion,” Gutierrez told Rappler.

Section 4, Article VII of 1987 Constitution allows a sitting vice president to serve no more than two consecutive terms. 

For unity’s sake: Seeking VP reelection also an option for Robredo

Robredo already told her allies in LP – where she is chairperson – that she was still in “deep discernment” about her potential presidential run. 

She believes only a united opposition stands a chance to win in the high-stakes 2022 polls that would elect Rodrigo Duterte’s successor. 

The Vice President also wants to prevent the likely presidential bid of former senator Bongbong Marcos, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Bongbong already lost twice against Robredo – first during the tight vice presidential race of 2016 then in the electoral protest he filed against Robredo but which the Supreme Court later junked unanimously. 

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.

The latest Pulse Asia survey conducted in early September showed the Vice President still lagging behind five other possible presidential contenders. Robredo’s voter preference rating was virtually unchanged, from 6% in June to 8% in September. 

Her spokesman Gutierrez is unfazed, however. 

“She has worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic, and it is good to know that many of our fellow Filipinos see and appreciate this, despite the unrelenting campaign of fake news and lies against the VP,” said Gutierrez.

Must Read

Robredo’s run: Why a most qualified presidential bet doesn’t have the numbers

– Rappler.com

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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.