Drilon urges other pres'l bets: Consider uniting under 1 candidate


Posted at Mar 14 2022 10:36 AM

Photo composite of Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Vice President Leni Robredo. ABS-CBN file
Photo composite of Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Vice President Leni Robredo. ABS-CBN file

MANILA - Opposition presidential candidates should begin considering uniting as one, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Monday as he claimed Vice President Leni Robredo was "gaining" numbers.

The non-administration votes are "splintered" into four candidates, Drilon said without naming them.

"We’re not losing hope that once it becomes clear that the continued division of the non-administration candidate will give an easy path to the administration candidate, to Bongbong Marcos to be candid, we should start thinking whether or not this is good for our country," he told ANC's Headstart.

Robredo is gaining in "internal surveys" of political parties affiliated with the Duterte administration, according to her ally who said the information was "unverified."

"If it is indeed confirmed that the numbers of VP Leni have substantially increased in the rallies that maybe it’s about time that the 3 other candidates should start thinking in terms of having only 1 candidate to fight the administration candidate so we can have a clear mandate," he said.

"As I said this is now probably, the other candidates should start examining where they are. If they have not even gotten double figures, there’s no sense."

Robredo can "work with anyone who would take a good look and see whether or not the country would benefit by having a common candidate," Drilon added.

"Indeed as much of policy the campaign of VP Leni will not abandon the idea of having a unity ticket for the sake of the country because we need a clear mandate," he said.

The senator described as "panic" the Operation Baklas of the Commission on Elections, which took down posters and murals of Robredo.


"What I’m seeing is panic. And you know let’s not forget that proverb, I will not stand in the way of my enemies if they want to commit mistakes. This action they are doing would generate sympathy with the people," he said.

"This shows abuse of authority, abuse of power. They have the resources. They do this, to me this is an error but I remember that Chinese proverb: Don’t stand in the way of enemies who are committing a mistake."

As for allegations that Robredo paid off tens of thousands of supporters to attend her rallies as Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla earlier claimed, Drilon said he was in "a panic mode."

"Sanay si Boying Remulla sa hakot doon sa local campaigns. How can you make hakot of 40,000 people? That statement is incredible, that you can hakot 40,000 people," he said.

"A hakot would involve payment of allowances, of food etc. Just imagine that at P500 per head. What P40,000, does it go into billion, that you would spend in a single event? They are in a panic mode."

Drilon reiterated that a candidate must attend debates to whether they can stand pressure.


"I find the non-appearance of a candidate as a point against the candidate and people should take that into consideration. May tinatago ba, ayaw bang humarap sa isang debate (Are they hiding something which is why they don't want to participate in a debate)?" he said.

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