Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo said that politics can wait while the whole country responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Saka na iyong pulitika. Siguro ipagdasal natin matapos na ‘to para meron na tayong time na tutukan iyong preparations for the elections (Politics can wait. What we can do is pray for this to end so we will have time to focus on the preparations for the elections),” she said in a media interview Wednesday in Camarines Sur.
“Pero until ganito pa ka-grabe iyong surge talagang ano, trabaho muna (But until the surge is like this, we have to focus on work),” Robredo added.
The vice president parried again questions on her political plans for next year following reports she had her residency changed from her hometown of Naga City to a nearby municipality of Magarao also in Camarines Sur.
However, she clarified that she hasn’t moved her voter’s registration from Naga to Magarao, contrary to previous reports that she already asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to do so.
The change in her residency came at a time when it is being rumored she wants to run as governor of Camarines Sur instead of seeking the presidency next year. As a resident and voter of Naga City, which is an independent component city, Robredo has to transfer to a different municipality to be eligible to run for the governorship.
On Tuesday, May 4, Facebook posts showed Robredo getting her biometrics taken for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) in Magarao, Camarines Sur. A Facebook user also confirmed that she is now a resident of Barangay Carangcang in the municipality.
It is not clear why the vice president decided to transfer her residency to Magarao when she was born and raised in Naga City. Her late husband Jesse Robredo was also a longtime mayor of the city.
As an independent component city, Nagueños cannot vote for provincial elective officials nor can they run for a provincial elective post such as the governorship.
Robredo has been open about her apprehension to seek the highest post in the country, mostly because of the lack of financial resources. Her supporters have offered to hold fundraising events for her, but the vice president wanted them to focus on helping their fellowmen during the pandemic.
The lady official earlier said she’s open to run for a local position, fueling rumors that she’s eyeing the gubernatorial post in the province and stop the powerful Villafuerte clan, an ally of President Duterte.
Her supporters voiced out their concerns about the personal agenda of some local politicians who are bent on convincing Robredo to seek a local post instead of the presidency.
“Sana hindi sya magpadala sa mga pulitiko kasi dito sa local na may mga personal interest man lang sa pagkumbinsi sa kanya sa pagtakbo as governor, nasa taas na sya ngayon… Bakit ba hinihila sya pababa? (May she not be persuaded by local politicians who have a personal interest in convincing her to run as governor. She’s at the top now. Why are they pulling her down?),” one Facebook user commented.