Vice President Leni Robredo is giving herself until Friday, Oct. 8, to decide whether to run as president or not, admitting that her only goal is to stop the Marcoses from reclaiming Malacañang, thereby enabling leaders of the current administration to remain in power.
“Wala naman ako choice kundi magdesisyon bago mag-October 8. Kasi kung ang desisyon ko magpa-file, kailangan handa na ako (I have no choice but to decide before October 8. Because if my decision is to file, then I need to be ready) by October 8,” she said on her Sunday radio show.
The filing of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) will run from Oct. 1 to 8 with the election period set to begin on Jan. 9, 2022.
Robredo, however, still has yet to make her decision because she is not losing hope that she can unite the opposition, which lately has been fragmented because of the declarations by Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso.
As long as the communication lines are open, the vice president said, she will continue to pursue talks to unite the opposition because her goal “is very clear.”
“Kasi iyong 2022 ang daming nakakatakot na (Because in 2022, there are a lot of scary) scenario na pwedeng mangyari (that might happen). Ang (The) number one nakakatakot na (scary) scenario makabalik ang mga Marcos. Yung pangalawang nakakatakot na (is for the Marcoses to come back to power. The second scary) scenario ‘yung nangyayari ngayon patuloy pa ring mangyayari (is what’s happening now will continue to happen) in six years,” she stressed.
Robredo was a student at the University of the Philippines-Diliman during the latter years of the Marcos dictatorship. She also defeated former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos in the elections for vice president in 2016. Marcos filed an electoral protest that was dismissed only in February this year.
With only two weeks left until the last day of the filing of the COC, the vice president said there is still hope to unify the anti-administration forces.
She admitted that there are some people who can no longer be pursued, but stressed that there is hope until the candidates have not filed their COCs yet.
Aside from Moreno and Pacquiao, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson also announced his intention to run as president.
“The more na magkaisa kami (that we are together), the more na mabawasan ‘yung tatakbo (the there are less who will run) against the administration, mas mabuti (the better),” she said.
“Sana ‘yung desisyon naming lahat kung ano iyong makakabuti sa bayan (Hopefully, all of our decisions will be for what’s good for the country),” Robredo added.
The vice president’s supporters have called on her nonstop in the past weeks to declare her bid for the presidency. They even tied ribbons and posted messages of support at the gate of the Quezon City Reception House where she holds office. They also made #LabanLeni2022 (Fight, Leni) a trending hashtag on Twitter.
Robredo said she is not deaf to these calls, but stressed that uniting the opposition is the most important thing she needs to do right now.
She has met several times with Pacquiao, Moreno, and once with Lacson over the past months in a bid to pursue them to support just one candidate against the administration. Robredo is reportedly one of the first ones to know that Moreno will declare his intention to run as president with Dr. Willie Ong as his runningmate.