Despite many personalities announcing their candidacy already, opposition coalition 1Sambayan said it is still in talks with four people as it remains hopeful that it can unite anti-administration forces in the 2022 elections.
1Sambayan convenor Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio made the statement as personalities started to express their intention to run for president in next year’s polls.
So far, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso have said that they will run for president.
In an online forum, Carpio denied that the unity talks 1Sambayan has been holding have failed, saying the talks are still ongoing.
“The unity talks will continue because, as you know, even after you have filed your certificate of candidacy (COC), you can withdraw, you can slide down,” he said.
“It will continue. Nothing is fixed in stone,” he added.
According to Carpio, 1Sambayan is still talking with Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Antonio Trillanes, and even with Moreno and Pacquiao even if they have already announced their candidacy.
1Sambayan convenor lawyer Howard Calleja said a lot of things can happen before the start of the filing of the COCs next week.
“Between the announcement and the filing, marami pang pwedeng mangyari (a lot of things can still happen),” he said.
“Hindi pa naman tapos ang usapin ng unity. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ang usapin na magkaisa ang mga kandidato (The talks about unity are not done yet. The talks to unite the candidates continue),” he added.
Calleja hopes that eventually, other candidates will coalesce so the opposition will have one presidential bet in the 2022 elections.
In June, 1Sambayan announced six names included in its selection process for its candidates for president and vice president.