2022 Philippine Elections

Trillanes on Robredo’s slate in Senate comeback bid

Mara Cepeda

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Trillanes on Robredo’s slate in Senate comeback bid

UNDER LP. Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV files his certificate of candidacy for senator in the May 2022 elections at the Sofitel Harbour Garden Tent in Pasay City on October 8, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Former senator Sonny Trillanes says his Magdalo party will also back the 2022 presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo as he runs under the LP

Rebel soldier-turned-senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV is seeking to return to the upper chamber of Congress, this time as part of the senatorial slate of Vice President Leni Robredo in 2022. 

Trillanes filed his certificate of candidacy for senator on Friday, October 8. 

He will be running under the Liberal Party and be a part of the Senate slate of Robredo, who announced her presidential run after months of discernment on Thursday, October 7. 

“I am so honored to run as Senator under the slate of our next President @lenirobredo. #LabanLeni2022,” Trillanes said as he tweeted a photo of him standing next to Robredo on the day she launched her presidential campaign.

Trillanes was among the nominees for president and vice president who were included in the selection process of the 1Sambayan opposition coalition, which ultimately endorsed Robredo as their bet for Malacañang in 2022.

The Magdalo political organization of Trillanes, composed of retired members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has long been allied with the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP), where Robredo is chairperson. 

Stalwarts of both the LP and Magdalo are some of the staunchest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, making them a primary target of his propagandists and trolls. 

The Vice President, however, shunned LP’s yellow political color in launching her 2022 presidential run. She will instead be running as an independent candidate

For months, the alliance between Magdalo and LP looked as if it was about to collapse after Trillanes threatened to drop Robredo if she would not seek the presidency.

Trillanes also said Robredo allegedly crossed the red line when she reached out to other presidential bets perceived to be Duterte enablers.

The former senator wanted Robredo to gun for Malacañang so badly that he even said he would run for president if she wouldn’t. But it seemed ties had been mended, as Trillanes said Magdalo would be supporting Robredo’s presidential campaign in 2022. 

Trillanes had led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege against the administration of then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 

Arroyo’s successor, the late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, later granted amnesty to Trillanes and the rest of the mutineers in 2011.

Trillanes previously served two Senate terms: first in 2007, when he ran his first senatorial campaign from jail, then in 2013, when he was already a free man.

Duterte tried to unilaterally revoke Trillanes’ amnesty in 2018, but the courts reversed the President’s order. – 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.