Recognizing his immense popularity in the country, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Monday, July 26, that Manila Mayor Isko Moreno can join the opposition’s slate if he wants to be the runningmate of Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2022 polls.
Trillanes emphasized that the opposition will only welcome Moreno as a vice president and not as a standard-bearer.
“If VP Leni would decide to pick Isko Moreno as a vice presidential candidate and objectively also he would be the most popular VP candidate even in the opposition and that would greatly help in the victory of VP Leni then, by all means, we would welcome Isko Moreno as vice president of VP Leni, but not as standard bearer of the opposition,” he said during a townhall meeting aired live on Facebook by Tindig Pilipinas.
Robredo is poised to become the opposition’s standard bearer with Trillanes saying that he believes that opposition coalition 1Sambayan “is reserved for Vice President Leni Robredo.”
This is despite the nomination of the coalition of other possible presidential candidates such as Trillanes, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, and House deputy speaker and CIBAC party-list Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva.
Trillanes doesn’t seem to be a fan of Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao, another possible candidate the opposition said it is open to meet with.
“I never considered both Isko Moreno and Manny Pacquiao as members of the opposition. In fact, if you would recall these personalities were enablers of this Duterte administration. And being enablers they are as guilty as Duterte himself,” he said.
In previous years of the current administration, Moreno has never criticized the government for its war on drugs campaign, as well as for its alleged corrupt activities. He was even party to the controversial dolomite project in Manila Bay despite calls from environmental activists.
“That’s how we should look at it. It’s not (the opposition) being pure, it’s just being fair and just because they can’t do that for their convenience,” Trillanes added.
1Sambayan initially included Moreno in its list of nominees for presidential candidate, but the Manila mayor asked to withdraw his name because he wants to focus on his city’s pandemic response initiatives.
On the other hand, Trillanes claimed that nobody nominated Pacquiao to be a part of the opposition coalition.
Robredo has yet to announce her candidacy for president, though many believe her to be the practical choice for the opposition seeing as she’s the chairman of the Liberal Party.
Trillanes originally wanted to run as president but said he will back down if Robredo will seek the country’s highest post.