Although it is the right of Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso to invite President Duterte to his senatorial lineup, Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday, Dec. 6, said this reflects the local executive’s “values” because “popularity and winnability” are not enough.
“Karapatan niya ‘yun. Karapatan namang piliin kung sino ‘yung gusto mong makasama (That’s his right. It’s a right to choose who you want to be with),” she said during a press conference at the University of Baguio.
Robredo is in the northern city for a two-day visit. She went first to the Baguio City Hall, where she met Mayor Benjamin Magalong in the morning, before attending the People’s Council meeting and her visit to Good Shepherd Convent.
“Pero ‘yung choices naman (But our choices are) not just for the slate natin pero iyong (but our) choices naman nating lahat reflection siya ng aspirations natin. Lagi siyang reflection ng values na pinapaniwalaan natin (are reflection of our aspirations. They are always reflection of the values that we believe in),” she added.
The opposition leader took pride in her own senatorial lineup because they reflect the reforms that she wants to push for in the country if she wins the presidency next year.
“Hindi lang naman ‘yung popularity and winnability ang pinakamahalaga. Ang pinakamahalaga, nako-communicate mo ‘yung gusto mong mangyari (Popularity and winnability are not the most important. What’s important is if you can communicate what you want to happen),” Robredo said.
She chose her candidates based on why they are running, what contributions they can make for the next generation, and because they share the ticket’s aspirations for the country.
“It is because pinag-isipan ito. Pinag-isipan na (this was thought of. This was thought of based on how) each one of them can contribute to having a set of policies that benefit the Filipino people,” she added.
The aspiring president mentioned former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. for his advocacies for indigenous people’s rights and the environment, as well as Senator Leila de Lima who have been detained at the Camp Crame for almost five years for what she believed to be trumped-up drug charges because of his criticism of Duterte.
However, Robredo did not address the inclusion of some seasoned politicians in her slate, including former Vice President Jejomar Binay who faced graft raps over the P1.3-billion Makati Science building.
The Manila mayor has been wooing Duterte and hoping for the President’s official endorsement though Senator Bong Go, the administration’s candidate, has yet to submit withdrawal papers at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) despite saying he is withdrawing from the race.
Aside from attending the flag ceremony at the city hall, Robredo also went to the Smart City Command Center and hailed Baguio for its contribution in the fight against the pandemic.
“Alam ko po na kayo ‘yung isa sa mga (I know that you are one of the) best performing na mga (in the) LGUs as far as contact tracing is concerned, as far as vaccination is concerned,” she said as city hall employees applauded.
Robredo shared that she has been asking Magalong for tips on the city’s lessons and models for best practices and the mayor “has been so selfless in sharing with us.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, she is scheduled to attend a meet and greet event with supporters and visit Bishop Victor Barnuevo at his residence and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).