1Sambayan awaits VP Leni’s big decision: ‘Ilang tulog na lang naman’

Published October 2, 2021, 10:47 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Opposition coalition 1Sambayan believes that Vice President Leni Robredo will make her announcement to join the presidential race before Friday, Oct. 8, stressing that its endorsement is a “major factor” to her decision.

1Sambayan (Photo courtesy of Neri Colmenares)

“After all, ilang tulog na lang naman (it’s just a few more days),” Bro. Armin Luistro, former education secretary and one of 1Sambayan’s convenors, told Manila Bulletin when asked about the wait on Robredo’s decision.

He also asked the public for patience as the Vice President continues to mull her decision on whether or not to run for president.

“VP Leni has asked for some time and we all know the deadline is Oct 8. 1Sambayan is hopeful and confident that our endorsement of her will be a major factor in her decision but will respect her judgment on the best timing,” Luistro added.

The coalition, composed of various pro-democracy organizations groups, endorsed her for president on Thursday, Sept. 30, despite her insistence to continue unity talks with other anti-administration personalities running in the May 2022 polls.

Robredo was in her hometown of Bicol when 1Sambayan made the announcement. Her camp confirmed she transferred her voter’s registration from Naga City, where she was based, to Magarao town in Camarines Sur.

READ: Robredo is 1Sambayan candidate for president in 2022 polls

This fueled speculations that the Vice President might run for a local post because transferring her voter’s registration to Magarao town makes her eligible to run for governor of the province. Naga City residents are not allowed to vote for or run as governor because it is an independent component city.

On Friday, Oct. 1, the National Union Students of the Philippines (NUSP) released a statement from the member organizations of 1Sambayan to voice out their “concern” over the premature endorsement of the coalition of Robredo’s candidacy, seeing as she hasn’t made her own announcement yet.

While reiterating that they believe Robredo is a “very competent and principled leader worth of 1Sambayan’s support,” they also said that the premature endorsement “will hinder rather than help in attaining” the primary objective of mobilizing all non-administration candidates into a single slate” that will defeat the Dutertes and Marcoses.

Luistro said “it’s a judgment call” for 1Sambayan to endorse Robredo despite her focus on unifying the pro-democracy candidates.

The group originally planned to announce their “pambato” or bet for the 2022 polls on Sept. 30.

“After considering all sides, a big majority felt we should stick to the Sept 30 deadline and endorse VP Leni hoping this will be a major factor in her decision. Part of the discussion was whether our announcement would weaken our efforts to unify the democratic forces but a significant number among us trust that the announcement will change the configuration but will not hamper ongoing talks until the last minute,” he added.

READ: Carpio shares hunch, believes Robredo ‘will rise to the challenge’

He explained that 1Sambayan convenors “deliberated and debated” on the best time to make their endorsement known to the public.

1Sambayan chairman and retired Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that unity talks will continue despite the endorsement.

On the “very remote possibility” that Robredo will reject the nomination, the coalition will need to reconvene again, he added.

Robredo is adamant that only a united opposition can defeat the Dutertes and Marcoses in 2022. However, the talks have faltered as both Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao have announced their respective presidential bids.