Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesman said she is “honored to be considered as a possible consensus candidate” of 1Sambayan, a newly formed coalition composed of critics of the present administration who want to form a unified opposition ticket for the May 2022 polls.
Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, however, clarified in a statement that Robredo remains focused on providing assistance to Filipinos as the “nation still struggles against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We respect the independent process being conducted by 1Sambayan, and hope that it will truly result in a greater degree of unity among democratic constituencies moving forward to 2022,” he said.
The spokesman did not mention if Robredo has plans to run as president next year, although the vice president earlier said that it feels wrong to think about politics when the country is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, March 18, retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio led the launch of 1Sambayan, which aims to come up with a unified opposition ticket comprising of president, vice president, and 12 senators to go against whoever President Duterte will endorse for next year’s polls.
Carpio said they already had initial talks and interviews with possible candidates for president and vice president. Aside from Robredo, they also had discussions with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senators Nancy Binay and Grace Poe, and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
“We are prepared to accept suggestions and nominations from everyone. So we are not foreclosing the candidates that we will consider and we will go through the process,” Carpio added.
The administration hasn’t officially announced who its presidential and vice presidential bets will be for the upcoming elections.
However, the President’s party, PDP-Laban, fielded the idea of Senator Bong Go and Duterte for president and vice president, respectively. Some groups in the President’s inner circle are also pushing for presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run as president.
Carpio and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, also one of the convenors of the coalition, are related to the presidential daughter through her husband, lawyer Manases Carpio.
Aside from Carpio and Carpio-Morales, 1Sambayan’s convenors and supporters are former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, former Education Secretary Armin Luistro, former Commission on Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers chairman Neri Colmenares, Magdalo party-list, and some labor groups.