Vice President Leni Robredo is keeping her options open for possible presidential bid in 2022 contrary to former senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s claim that she is now preparing to run for governor in her home province of Camarines Sur.
“There is absolutely no truth to the claim” of Trillanes, Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said on Wednesday, May 12, stressing that the vice president is focused on her office’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.
“As VP Leni has repeatedly stated, her focus remains on helping our fellow Filipinos through the COVID-19 crisis. She has not made a decision regarding the 2022 elections, and there is absolutely no truth to the claim that she is making ‘preparations’ to run for governor of Camarines Sur,” he said.
“This is not a time for politicking, but for working for the people’s welfare,” Gutierrez added.
On Wednesday, Trillanes said he’s presenting himself as the principal candidate of 1Sambayan, an opposition group led by former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
This is because he claimed that Robredo is now preparing to run as governor of Camarines Sur. The former senator earlier said he’s only going to seek the presidency if Robredo will not run as the opposition’s standard-bearer.
1Sambayan hopes to field a united opposition candidate against anyone the administration will field for next year’s polls.
The spokesperson said Robredo is still open to running for President.
“She remains open to all options, including a possible candidacy for President, and at the appropriate time, she will personally convey her decision on this matter,” Gutierrez stressed.
Teddy Baguilat Jr., a former lawmaker and a partymate of Robredo in the opposition Liberal Party (LP), also said that Robredo “has not changed her position and is still open to a 2022 presidential run.”
A known supporter of the vice president and a friend to the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, Baguilat said they are actually establishing different chapters weekly in preparation for Robredo’s 2022 bid.
“Linggo-linggo, kausap namin ang Magdalo kaya alam nila posisyon ni MamLeni (Weekly, we talk with Magdalo, so they know the position of Mam Leni). We continue to work for a united front,” he said on Twitter.
He argued that the vice president remains to be a registered voter of Naga, which means she cannot vote for the governor of Camarines Sur. Naga, as an independent component city, cannot vote for local electoral posts.
“Thus, as a Naga voter, VP can’t run for Gov, right. At any rate, wala syang ginagawang (she’s not doing) preparation for this plan. We in the party would know. It’s always work, work,” Baguilat said.
Earlier, Robredo’s camp admitted that the vice president transferred residency from Naga City to the nearby municipality of Magarao. Rumors swirled that this is in preparation for her bid to run as governor of Camarines Sur, but her camp said she remains to be a voter of Naga and her transfer of residency is due to the property she and her siblings bought in Magarao.
The vice president remains mum about her 2022 plans, but maintained that she’s open to run either as president or for a local post in her hometown.
She cited the lack of financial resources as one of the reasons why she might not run as president in next year’s polls.
She lags behind pre-campaign presidential surveys, often only placing fifth or sixth, behind presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Senators Grace Poe and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.