Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will not be running as Vice President Leni Robredo’s running mate if she decides to run as president because he believes Senator Grace Poe or Manila Mayor Isko Moreno have the better numbers to help the opposition’s standard-bearer clinch the country’s highest seat.
In a Facebook post, the leader of the Magdalo Party made clear that they will only support Robredo as the opposition’s standard-bearer in the 2022 polls. Despite initially wanting to run as president, he will give way for Robredo if she decides to run as president.
“Para maliwanag lang, kung tatakbo si VP Leni, hindi po ako tatakbong VP nya kasi naniniwala ako na dapat ang ka-tandem ni VP Leni ay ‘yung kandidato na pinakamakakapagbigay ng maraming boto para sa kanya sa pagkapangulo (Just to be clear, if VP Leni will run, I will not run as her VP because I believe that VP Leni’s tandem should be the candidate who can give her more votes for her presidency),” he said.
“Di hamak na mas malaki ang maitutulong nina Isko (Moreno Domagoso) at Grace Poe sa pagkapanalo ni VP kaysa sa sakin (There is no question that Isko and Grace Poe will better help VP win instead of me),” the former senator added.
Trillanes clarified this is his personal opinion and that ultimately, Robredo will decide who she wants to be her runningmate for the 2022 polls.
But he draws the line when it comes to Senators Richard Gordon and Panfilo Lacson, who Robredo earlier had meetings with in her process of holding “exploratory talks” to come up with a united opposition.
Trillanes reminded Robredo and the opposition that both Gordon and Lacson were instrumental to the pinning down of detained Senator Leila de Lima on questionable links to drug syndicates presented by “bogus witnesses.” De Lima, who is detained at the Camp Crame, is a member of the Liberal Party and a friend of Robredo.
Lacson was also the principal author of the controversial Anti-Terror Law that is being used to red-tag activists and critics of the administration while Gordon was head of the senate committee that cleared President Duterte of any involvement in the extrajudicial killings.
“Hindi dapat nakikipag-usap sa mga Duterte collaborators or those complicit sa mga krimen ni Duterte gaya nina Senators Lacson and Gordon (We should not be talking to Duterte collaborators or those complicit to Duterte’s crimes like Senators Lacson and Gordon),” Trillanes said, adding that this is the reason why he included Gordon in the case the Magdalo Party filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
By now, the opposition should know who the “fence-sitters” are in government. He said these are the people who sit idly by as Duterte abused his power.
While he understands that Robredo has to do exploratory talks with different groups to form the broadest united opposition possible, Trillanes has to make one thing clear.
“Dapat walang scenario sa mga usapan na si VP Leni ang aatras (There should be no scenario in these talks that VP Leni will back down) in favor of any of these personalities. Kung ang usapan ay tungkol sa pag-atras nila para kay VP, walang problema dun (If the talk is about them backing down for VP, there is no problem there),” he said.
Trillanes said that “it has to be her” because she is only the basis of unity of the opposition.
“Maliwanag ang mission at nagkakaisa rin ang (The mission is clear and we are united in the) opposition behind VP Leni as standard bearer. Naniniwala rin kami na (We also believe that), through 1Sambayan, we have a strong enough base of support to propel her to victory in 2022. But VP Leni needs to believe in herself that she can win, and that all of us are here to help her make it happen,” Trillanes said.