Robredo says she is open to a possible endorsement from Duterte, political rivals

Published March 15, 2022, 3:28 PM

by Raymund Antonio

NORTH COTABATO—Vice President Leni Robredo is not closing her doors on possible endorsements coming from political opponents or rivals, such as President Duterte and others, as long as the relationship “is not transactional.”

Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang/File Photo)

This came after Duterte, in a televised interview over the weekend, said the next president should be someone who is compassionate and preferably, a lawyer. Only Robredo and Jose Montamayor Jr. are lawyers among the 10 presidential bets.

Saying that she had always tried to separate her work from politics, Robredo pointed out that she can work with anyone and has never looked at political opponents as “enemies.”

“‘Yon ‘yong isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit nag-run ako as independent (That’s one of the reasons why I run as independent),” she said in an interview in Kidapawan City on Tuesday, March 15.

The Vice President filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) as an independent candidate despite retaining the chairmanship of the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP).

“Mas symbolic sa akin ‘yong pagpapakita na willing ako to work with anyone kahit ‘yong mga tao na (It is symbolic for me to show that I’m willing to work with anyone, including the people) in the past maraming mga (with whom there’s a lot of) differences as long as hindi transactional ‘yong relationship, tapos as long as mas marami kaming mapagkakasunduan kaysa sa aming hindi pagkakasundo (the relationship isn’t transactional, and as long as there are a lot of things to agree on than disagree on),” she explained.

Robredo was recently endorsed by Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, the vice president of the ruling PDP-Laban in Visayas and a known ally of Duterte.

READ: Robredo says Eastern Samar Gov. Evardone’s endorsement is ‘valued’

Evardone cited the Vice President’s pro-poor agenda as reason to his endorsement.

On Tuesday, he claimed that he has the “blessing” of the President in his endorsement of Robredo, a staunch critic of Duterte who the Vice President said should face cases of human rights abuses done under his term.

Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan followed Evardone in endorsing Robredo. He also cited Duterte’s remarks that the country’s next leader should be compassionate and decisive.

He said his endorsement was discussed by local officials, including municipal mayors, provincial and barangay officials, and sectoral heads.

In recent weeks, Robredo has secured endorsements from the academe, economists, retired generals, youth, priests, lawyers, human rights defenders, ex-officials of the United Nations (UN) system in the Philippines, and former high-ranking government officials.