Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV believes that the May 2022 polls will be a rematch of the 2016 face-off between Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., as both are now seeking to become the country’s next president.
Triilanes said during an online interview that Robredo’s biggest foe will be Marcos, the namesake of the late dictator. Trillanes is running for senator under the opposition ticket.
The former senator and now professor admitted, however, that the fight next year will be “more formidable” because of the “combined forces” of the Marcoses and Dutertes.
“Kaya kailangan dito puspusan na kampanyahan. Hindi pwede ‘yung kampanyang mayaman, ika nga. Kelangan dito kayod talaga. Kasi mabigat, mabigat ‘yung laban (What we need here is a thorough campaign. We cannot do what they call the campaign for the rich. We need to work hard because we’re facing a heavyweight),” Trillanes said.
He even welcomed presidential aspirant Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny Pacquiao’s criticisms of Marcos because the latter is “the man to beat.”
Pacquiao has recently called out Marcos, Jr. for his family’s excesses during the Martial Law years, although he supported the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2016.
The boxer-senator also thumbed down a proposal to team up with Marcos to solidify their votes in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Pacquiao, who hails from General Santos City, is believed to have a stronghold on the region because of his boxer champion status.
Trillanes said that he expects another presidential aspirant, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, to soon target Marcos, Jr.
“Kung marealize nila na si Bongbong ang (If they realize that Bongbong is the) man to beat, magshi-shift din ‘yang communication plan nila (their communication plan will shift),” he added.
Despite the outpouring of support for Robredo on social media, the chair of the Magdalo Party acknowledges the long road ahead of them.
“The way we approach itong mga kampanya, hindi po tayo magkukumpyansa (these campaigns, we are not going to be complacent). We are assuming na bagong (this is a new) slate po ito, clean slate, back to zero. We are approaching the elections that way. Kailangang magpakilalang muli sa lahat ng mga botante, lalo na ngayon maraming mga bagong botante (We need to introduce ourselves against to the voters, especially because there are a lot of new voters),” he said.
They are also looking at ways how to correct the issues and malicious posts made against them by their political enemies, as well as monitor where they have a stronghold, Trillanes added.
“In short, we can never tell until madeklara na (it’s been declared). We will be campaigning as though we are way behind.”