Robredo says politicians touring PH amid pandemic are 'insensitive'

Published July 20, 2021, 5:41 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo believes it is insensitive for other political candidates seeking to run in the May 2022 polls to go around the country while Filipinos are still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Mark Balmores/Manila Bulletin)

Unlike other possible presidential candidates such as Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the vice president has not been touring the country except for her anti-poverty programs and COVID-19 initiatives.

She noted the winning formula is not about who gets to go around the country first, noting that she had a last-minute decision when she ran for Congress in 2013 and for vice president in 2016.

“Hindi ko sinasabi na dahil iyon iyong pattern, iyon iyong gagawin ko rin. Pero tingin ko kasi napaka-insensitive natin sa pinagdadaanan na kahirapan ng mga kababayan natin kung sa gitna ng pandemic, ang naisip natin iyong umikot para sa 2022 elections (I am not saying that because that was my pattern, that’s what I’m going to do this year. But I think it is very insensitive that while our fellowmen are going through hardships during the pandemic, we’re going around to prepare for the 2022 elections),” she said Tuesday, July 20, on the sidelines of her Vaccine Express initiative in Manila.

Robredo added that her supporters voted her as vice president until June 30 next year, so she’s supposed to work for them until then. She doesn’t even mind that she’s lagging in surveys.

READ: Robredo not affected by low poll survey results

“So for me, while others are ahead, for me I will just focus on my work. If that means my numbers will not increase, so be it, as long as I’m doing my work because I’m still the VP until June 30 next year,” she said in Filipino.

But Robredo clarified that she takes the process of deciding whether or not to run for president very seriously.

Reports speculate that some of the vice president’s supporters are growing weary of her non-commitment to run for president next year.

The opposition leader said the decision isn’t just about whether she wants to run or not. It’s about whether she is the right candidate to lead the country in the post-pandemic period.

She even floated the possibility of merely supporting another candidate from the opposition.

READ: Opposition must have a common standard-bearer in 2022 — Robredo

Her supporters, she added, have been convincing her to put her name and face on awareness campaign materials since last year. She asked them not to do it because of the pandemic.

This year, however, Robredo finally relented and allowed them to organize programs in her name. What she made them promise is to continue helping their fellowmen while raising awareness for her possible run.

Robredo also said she feels honored that the supporters of the late President Benigno Aquino III think that she’s the best candidate to continue his legacy of “decency” and “good governance.”

Team Leni Robredo, a group of her supporters, was launched last month at the same time opposition coalition 1Sambayan named the vice president as one of their nominees for president.

READ: ‘United for 2022’: VP supporters to launch Team Leni Robredo on Independence Day

So far, the team has held feeding programs for the poor, and came up with videos that intend to raise awareness about Robredo’s poverty alleviation and COVID-19 response programs.