The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, June 15, appealed to supporters to give her time in deciding if she will run as president in the May 2022 polls.
Vice presidential spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said on ANC’s Dateline Philippines that Robredo remains focused on her COVID-19 response program and is not thinking about politics right now.
“Only she can really answer that question. She will make that decision in her own time. When she makes that decision, she will be the one to inform everybody of her plan. We really have to give her space and time to come up with that decision,” he said.
There are reports that some of the vice president’s supporters are becoming frustrated as they wait for her to decide on the matter, although no one—even from the administration—has outrightly declared their intentions to run for president.
Politicians need to finalize their candidacies by October this year. The official campaign season for presidential and vice presidential bets will begin in February next year.
Talks of the vice president’s possible run next year are making rounds after opposition coalition 1Sambayan nominated her and five others for the presidency. Only Robredo and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV did not reject the nomination.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, a member of the opposition, rejected the nomination but said that Robredo has his full support and is the most qualified for the position.
“The statement of Atty. Diokno is very welcome. I’m sure at some point if the vice president decides, then he will be one of the first people she will talk to,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez echoed Robredo’s sentiments that the elections next year is more than about the opposition versus the present Duterte administration.
“When we talk about the elections in 2022, we should also be engaging with people who think the President has done a good job. We should also be engaging with people who do not necessarily agree with everything that the opposition says,” he said.
Gutierrez agreed with the vice president that the “way to win an election” is “by engaging and talking and listening.”
“So, it is not just, you know, at the level of alliances or you know, political coalitions. (It’s) more importantly (about) talking to ordinary people, talking to voters, talking to regular Filipino citizens who, at the end of the day, will be the deciding factor in 2022,” he stressed.
Robredo believes in this process that she is even willing to reach out to the administration, he said, adding that “part of the responsibility of being a leader is engaging.”
“The vice president has been very consistent in attempting to engage with members of this administration. Part of the responsibility of leading is talking to the people who might not belong in the same political camp as you,” Gutierrez stated.