Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, September 28, assured Liberal Party (LP) members that she’s aware of her responsibilities as the opposition’s leader as the time for her to decide to run as president in the 2022 polls draws near.
This came a day after former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV called her out for failing to rein in LP members from leaving to join other presidential hopefuls.
“Alam kong tumatakbo ang oras. Mulat ako sa deadlines. Mulat din ako sa tungkulin ko bilang pinuno, bilang Chairman ng ating party, at (I know that time is running out. I am aware of the deadlines. I am aware of my responsibilities as a leader, as the Chairman of our party, and) in a sense, pinuno rin ng lahat ng taong kahanay natin sa layuning ito (also the leader of all the people who are with us in this goal),” she said in a message addressed to members of the once-ruling party.
Despite the delay in her decision, she reminded party members who attended LP’s National Executive Council meeting via Zoom that the goal is to “reverse the trajectory of the governance of the country.”
She stressed the need to end a brand of governance that is “anti-democratic, anti-rights, corrupt, (and) self-serving,” which are at the roots of the suffering of the Filipino people.
“Gusto kong idiin sa inyo na walang ibang tumatakbo sa isip ko ngayon kundi ang imperative na ito (I want to emphasize to you all that nothing runs in my mind now that this is imperative),” Robredo said.
Her days, she added, “have been filled with deep discernment” and many moments of reaching out to achieve the most expansive network to reach the party’s goal.
She maintained her position of pursuing unity talks, saying that it is their responsibility to find people whose goals align with theirs.
READ: Robredo still hopeful for unity ticket, but 'accepts reality' it might not happen
“In this effort, hindi tayo nag-iisa (we are not alone). While not everyone will raise their hands and swear their oaths as members of our party, there are certain goals that align with ours,” Robredo said.
“Tungkulin natin na hanapin ang mga (It is our responsibility to find the) alignment, kausapin ang willing kumausap, at i-exhaust ang lahat ng (talk with those who are willing to talk and exhaust all) possible means para maging mas malaki 'yung chance na ma-achieve natin ang mga layunin natin (to improve the chance for us to achieve our goal),” she added.
In return, the party gave the vice president “full authority and discretion” in initiating talks that will lead to a united slate for the 2022 polls.
READ: LP bares initial Senate slate for 2022 polls, grants Robredo ‘full authority’ to form unity ticket
Robredo began the unification process by holding exploratory talks in June, but these were met with ire by Trillanes who said doing so will be like aligning themselves with enablers of the Duterte administration. He was referring to Senators Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson, Richard Gordon, and Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao, as well as Manila Mayor Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso.
Though Lacson, Pacquiao, and Moreno already announced their intentions to run for president, the vice president maintained communication with Pacquiao and Moreno as she seeks to unify the opposition ahead of the 2022 elections.
But as the filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC) starts on Friday, Oct. 1, and ends a week after, on Oct. 8, Robredo is finding herself in hot water as her supporters, led by Trillanes, call on her to announce her presidential bid.
READ: Robredo gives herself until Oct. 8 to decide on presidential bid
“Patuloy ang dalangin at pagpupursige ko para masagot ang mga tanong na ito sa paraang makatao at makatarungan. At nagpapasalamat ako sa inyong tiwala. ‘Yung aking dasal lang ay (We continue our prayers and perseverance in answering these questions in a way that is humane and just. And I thank you for your trust. My only prayer is) in the next week or so, dagdagan pa natin ‘yung dasal, dagdagan pa natin ‘yung tiwala (let’s pray and trust more),” she said.