Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo called on her supporters to be inclusive of others to achieve true unity amid the polarizing politics of the past five years.
During her weekly radio show with radioman Ely Saludar, Robredo said it was important to understand why the public was attracted to populist leaderships like that of President Duterte, and the brand of politics that come with it.
“Kailangan natin intindihin bakit marami iyong attracted sa Pangulo, bakit ba maraming attracted sa ganitong klaseng mga politiko? Kailangan iyon i-recognize. Hindi puwedeng sabihin, Ka Ely, na tayo lang iyong magaling. Tayo lang iyong, alam mo iyon, iyong tayo lang iyong matino—hindi puwede iyon (We need to understand why many are attracted to the President, why many are attracted to these kinds of politicians? We need to recognize that. We cannot say, Ka Ely, that we are the only smart ones. That we are, you know, the only ones who are capable—that cannot be),” she said on Sunday over dzXL.
Although she is thankful to 1Sambayan for the nomination to be the opposition’s standard-bearer for the May 2022 polls, as well as for coming forward to unite the opposition, the vice president emphasized the need for inclusivity.
“Pero para sa akin, sana—at ito hindi lang sa 1Sambayan, kundi sa lahat ng supporters natin—na, hindi gustong sabihin na dahil iba iyong paniniwala ng iba, masama na sila (But for me, I hope—and this is not only for 1Sambayan, but for all our supporters—that, what I want to say is that not because they have different beliefs is they’re already bad),” Robredo stated.
“Dapat intindihin natin bakit ganito iyong paniniwala nila. Kasi kung hindi natin iintindihin, Ka Ely, hindi tayo magkakaroon ng pagkakaisa (We need to understand these beliefs. Because if we don’t understand, Ka Ely, we won’t have unity),” she added.
The vice president said that the country’s isn’t in this state because of just one person, but because of a situation that forced the people to side with the kind of leadership that Duterte represents.
“Iyong sitwasyon na umiiral, parang siya iyong nag-give rise sa ganitong klaseng political situation. Kailangan natin iyon intindihin (The situation right now gave rise to this kind of political situation. We need to understand that),” she added.
Her plea to her supporters is to “give space” for dissenting beliefs. She said some supporters have a mindset that’s not inclusive of other people’s opinions.
Robredo is aware that some see opposition coalition 1Sambayan as non-inclusive and righteous.
“Hindi ito puwedeng sabihin na, ‘gusto ko ng unity pero gusto ko ikaw lang.’ Hindi iyon gano’n eh, ‘di ba? May mga supporters na gano’n, na ‘ikaw lang, o si ano lang. Other than you, wala na’ (We cannot say that ‘I want unity, but I want only you.’ That’s not like that, right? We have supporters like that, ‘it’s just you or another. Other than you, there’s no one else’),” Robredo lamented.
The 1Sambayan nomination is just an initial process, the vice president claimed, saying that she still has a lot of options to weigh.
Running for the presidency is still an option, but so does seeking a local post in her home province of Camarines Sur or not running for an elective post at all.