Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, July 20, admitted talking with “other contenders” for a possible presidential bid in 2022, though fell short of mentioning their names except for Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso.
“Mayroong mga (There are) initial na exploratory talks, not just with Mayor Isko but with some other contenders,” Robredo said, refusing to name who she has met for these talks.
“And ako, masaya ako sa mga (And me, I’m happy with the) initial na talks with all the others. Kasi ano naman, eh, ramdam ko na iyong desire naman na iyong para sa bayan nandoon (Because I can feel the desire for the country is there),” she added.
Robredo has always remained mum about her political plans beyond being the country’s vice president because her focus right now is on her office’s COVID-19 response initiatives.
But she opened up about having exploratory talks so the opposition can come up with a “common candidate.”
The lady official said their talks centered on “commonalities” and not even on who will run for president next year. She cited as examples their stand on human rights abuses and corruption.
“So mas nandoon pa lang kasi tingin ko mahalaga iyon. Iyong eleksyon hindi lang naman ito kakampi ako sa iyo kasi convenient sa eleksyon, pero kakampi ako sa iyo kasi kahit mayroon tayong pagkakaiba, iyong mga mahahalagang bagay nagkakasundo tayo (So, the talks are on that level because I think that is more important. The elections are not about siding with each other because it is convenient for the elections, but I will support you because even if we have differences, we see eye-to-eye in the more important things),” she explained.
As the opposition leader, the vice president is seen as the viable candidate to run for the country’s highest post next year.
Other members of the opposition seem to think the same thing as the Liberal Party is fully behind Robredo and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he will put aside his plans to run as president to give way for her candidacy.
For Robredo, she’s open to all possibilities, but she also emphasized the need to be “open” to others to find a common ground even with candidates not from her own party.
“Pero sa panahon na ganito, ang pakiusap ko puwede ba ang tingnan natin hindi iyong differences pero puwede bang ang tingnan natin iyong commonalities (But at this time, what I am asking is not to look at our differences but if possible, can we look at our commonalities),” she said.
“Kailangan ng bayan natin na magkaisa tayo kasi pinakamatinding krisis itong pinagdaanan natin siguro after the second World War (Our country needs us to unite because this is the worst crisis that we’ve gone through since after the Second World War),” Robredo added.