Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday, May 12, announced his intention to be the opposition’s standard bearer in the 2022 national elections as Vice President Leni Robredo supposedly plans to run for governor in Camarines Sur province.
“In view of VP Leni’s preparations to run for governor of Camarines Sur in 2022, I, together with the Magdalo group, have decided to convey to the 1Sambayan Coalition to change my status from being an alternate candidate (to VP Leni) to being a principal candidate for President to vie for the Coalition’s nomination,” Trillanes said in a statement.
“This move is necessary for my name to be included in 1Sambayan’s selection process,” he added.
The 1Sambayan has been in looking to field a “united” opposition slate for the next year’s polls.
It was initially considering Robredo as its presidential candidate, as well as Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Senators Nancy Binay and Grace Poe as part of its line-up.
Trillanes, who previously said he will run for president if Robredo will not do so, clarified that he is “not dividing the opposition” and that he Robredo have committed to support and campaign for 1Sambayan’s nominees.
He stressed: “In the event that VP Leni definitively decides to run for President before 1Sambayan picks its nominees in July, I would wholeheartedly STEP ASIDE and WITHDRAW my own candidacy in her favor.”
“But until then, we would work on the assumption that VP Leni would run for Governor of CamSur and, thus, we could now start our own preparations focusing on the development of policy prescriptions to solve the different problems of our country, particularly on pandemic response; economic recovery and poverty alleviation; peace and order/security sector reforms; anti-corruption/governance reforms; universal healthcare; foreign policy, including WPS (West Philippine Sea), etc[etera],” he added.
Trillanes reiterated that the 2022 elections “would be the most important elections in our nation’s history after 1986.”
“Not only our Democracy is at stake, our very survival as a country is at stake, too. In just five years, Duterte has been able to destroy our institutions, bankrupted the economy, worsened poverty and corruption, surrendered our interests in the WPS, and promoted incompetence in public service,” said the staunch Duterte critic.
“Worst of all, he made our people accept killings, immorality, indecency and vulgarity as the new societal norm. Truly, we will not survive another six years of a Duterte rule,” he claimed.
Trillanes further claimed that the Duterte administration is “determined to hold on to power”, saying that “if the opposition wins, they would go straight to prison for the crimes they have committed against our people.”
Still, he admitted that victory will not come easy for the opposition as administration candidates “have vast amounts of resources, the oppressive tools of the State, the subservient local officials, plus the lack of scruples to employ all dirty tricks in the electoral book.”
“Having said this, I still have faith that the Filipino people will, yet again, deliver when we need them most. More importantly, I believe that God will not let evil prevail again this time,” Trillanes said, appealing on the public for help.
He maintained his confidence that the opposition will win in the elections.
“At the appropriate time, mangangampanya tayo (we will campaign) like our lives depended on it. Kaya naman (That’s why) I am confident na tatalunin natin sila (that we will defeat them),” Trillanes said.