The outpouring of support for Vice President Leni Robredo over the past few weeks did not fall on deaf ears as her spokesman said on Thursday, September 2, that she will consider these when she soon makes her decision about the 2022 polls.
Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said that they are thankful for the volunteer groups that came out to support the vice president, and they are hoping that she will let them know this September if she intends to run as president.
“Mahigit 200 groups itong nakaraang linggo ang lumabas at nananawagan kay VP Leni na siya ay kumandidato. At definitely, pakikinggan niya iyan, iko-consider niya sa kaniyang desisyon (More than 200 groups in the past week came out to call on VP Leni to run. And definitely, she will listen to them, she will consider that in her decision),” he stated during an interview with One PH.
Gutierrez argued that Robredo has never sought the positions she found herself in, but rather that she listened to the public’s clamor for her to run.
He said that the vice president didn’t have an “ambition” to run as congressman in 2013 nor as vice president in 2016. And he is sure that Robredo has no dreams to become president.
“Pero sa pagkakakilala ko kay VP Leni, siya rin ay isang tao na hindi tumatalikod sa tungkulin. Hindi tumatalikod sa panawagan ng bayan (What I know of VP Leni, she’s the kind of person who doesn’t turn her back on her duties. She doesn’t turn her back on her country),” Gutierrez added.
Over the past weeks, hundreds of different volunteer groups were launched to express their support for Robredo’s possible presidential bid. Some of these groups are Lawyers for Leni, Health Workers for Leni, LGBTQIA+ for Leni, Teachers for Leni, BPO Employees for Leni, OFWs for Leni, and various regional-based groups.
More than 200 volunteer groups signed a manifesto calling on the vice president to seek the country’s highest post.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, both of whom ran as senators under Robredo’s Liberal Party (LP) in 2019, also joined the call for the vice president to run.
The support came despite Robredo’s dismal numbers in surveys that are being led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. The vice president lags in fifth place after Senators Grace Poe and Manny Pacquiao, too.
“Kung sa handa lang at sa handa at sa (If we talk about readiness and) willingness, of course hindi tatalikuran ni VP Leni iyan pero may mga ibang konsiderasyon (VP Leni will not turn her back on that but there are other considerations),” Gutierrez said.
“But definitely, tingin ko mayroong malaking factor itong paglabas ng maraming tao at maraming grupo at pagdeklara sa kaniya nitong mga nakaraang linggo (I think the support from a lot of people and groups and the declaration for her to run these past weeks will be a big factor),” he added.
Robredo said she’s in the process of deciding whether to run or not for president in 2022. Her focus, however, remains to be on her office’s COVID-19 programs.
Gutierrez said the vice president personally handles their Bayanihan E-Konsulta initiative, which is a free medical teleconsult facility run by her office’s medical and non-medical volunteers.