Running or not? Robredo transfers registration, keeps allies, rivals guessing

Is Vice President Leni Robredo seeking the presidency or is she running for Camarines Sur governor in 2022?

On the eve of the filing of candidacies on Thursday night, September 30, Robredo – the chosen presidential bet of the 1Sambayan coalition – made a move that would now allow her to seek the gubernatorial post in her home province. 

Robredo officially transferred her voter registration from Naga City to the municipality of Magarao, the town where Robredo registered as a resident a few months ago after inheriting properties from her late parents. 

"Yes, she did so at the advice of her lawyers, who wanted consistency with her actual residence right now," Robredo's spokesperson Barry Gutierrez told Rappler on Friday, October 1.

Robredo, however, immediately returned to Manila by Friday morning to attend to her duties as vice president.

This voter registration transfer clears the way for the Vice President to run for Camarines Sur governor, as those living in independent component cities like Naga cannot vote nor run for any provincial post. 

Which begs the question: Does this mean Robredo has finally decided on her electoral bid in 2022? Or is this just a smokescreen to throw off her potential rivals in the local and presidential races?

Robredo’s voter registration transfer, after all, comes at a crucial point in her “deep discernment” in the run-up to the 2022 elections. 

According to Gutierrez, Robredo's voter registration transfer is not necessarily in preparation for a gubernatorial run.

"This is not preparatory to that. It's not going there yet. It’s, in a way, an administrative task taken consistent with the advice of her lawyers," Gutierrez said.

The Vice President has said she would decide on her Bicolano allies’ calls for her to run for governor only when she has sorted out her responsibilities in the national elections as Philippine opposition leader. 

Robredo said running for governor is "not a priority,” but her voter registration transfer to Magarao certainly makes the Vice President one step closer towards becoming a local official instead. 

So what is Leni Robredo doing in 2022? Her allies and rivals now wait with bated breath. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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