Veteran Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Sunday, June 13 strongly endorsed Vice President Leni Robredo as the standard bearer for the unified opposition in the 2022 elections.
Lagman made the recommendation a day after the political coalition 1Sambayan came up with a list of six potential bets for president and vice president, with two of those mentioned – Senator Grace Poe, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos – declining the nomination.
A third nominee, Deputy Speaker and 1CIBAC Partylist Rep. Eddie Villanueva has yet to make his announcement but son, Senator Joel Villanueva, declared that “we are not interested” in the presidency.
Lagman agreed with 1Sambayan on the need to unify the opposition against reported plans made by the ruling PDP-Laban to keep President Rodrigo Duterte in power by running for president and by choosing the presidential candidate of his choice.
However, he disagreed with the listing of “many presidentialbles”, pointing out that this “does not project and encourage unity against the Duterte forces.”
Lagman, an independent, said Robredo is the “the most logical, qualified, viable, and winnable choice as the opposition’s standard bearer.”
“She is the highest elected official in the ranks of the opposition, a heartbeat away from the presidency,” said Lagman.
“She has an enviable track record of winning the second highest national position, a feat which shattered pollsters’ predictions,” he added.
According to Lagman, Robredo maintains a “compassionate demeanor” which is in “direct contract to the repressive machinations of Duterte.”
“Her effective and singular performance during the continuing onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic exposes the errant and failed response to the contagion of President Duterte,” said Lagman, who is also a Bicolano like Robredo.
The senior lawmaker stated: “Her enduring adherence to constitutionalism and the rule of law is the direct opposite to Duterte’s repeated violations of the Constitution on due process, human rights, and press freedom, among others.”