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Lipa City Representative Vilma Santos is not running for any position in the 2022 Philippine elections.
She confirmed this in a social media post on Thursday, October 7, the second to the last day for aspirants to both national and local posts to file their certificates of candidacy.
“After careful consideration of the present situation, especially the limitations in conducting a campaign during a pandemic, I have decided not to seek any elective post in the May 2022 elections,” she said.
Santos said, however, that this does not mean she will stop serving her constituents.
“I have been serving the public for more than 23 years and will continue to serve, in the best way I can, even in my private capacity. Tuloy pa rin ang trabaho at serbisyo!” she added. (I shall continue working and serving.)
The announcement ended speculations about her political plans. For 2022, as well as in past elections, Santos has been considered by various political parties as a senatorial or vice presidential bet.
In a text message to Rappler, Santos said:
Just taking a back seat. I don’t want to be unfair to the voters, to my supporters….
A senatorial run requires a nationwide campaign. It is important to go around key cities and conduct face-to-face consultations to lay down one’s platform, to listen to the voices on the ground. Masa pa rin ang importante.
But I don’t think kaya ko to do this in the middle of a pandemic. Di p’wede pa Zoom-Zoom lang or via social media.
Santos began her political career in 1998 after being elected as the first woman mayor of the city of Lipa in Batangas. She also served as the first woman governor of the province of Batangas, and is now sitting as the first representative of the lone district of Lipa City.
On Tuesday, October 5, her husband, Senator Ralph Recto, filed his candidacy as representative of Lipa City, seeking to replace her.
“Sa lahat ng nagtiwala at patuloy na sumusuporta sa akin, maraming, maraming salamat po. Pagpalain nawa tayo ng Poong Maykapal!” the outgoing congresswoman said.
(To everyone who put their trust in me and continues to support me, thank you so much. May the good Lord bless us all!) – Rappler.com