MANILA — Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday said he eyed replacing Vice President Leni Robredo as the candidate for president of opposition coalition 1SAMBAYAN in the 2022 elections.
Trillanes said "in view of VP Leni's preparations to run for Governor of Camarines Sur in 2022," he and the Magdalo group "decided to convey" to the 1SAMBAYAN to change as Robredo's alternate candidate "to being a principal candidate for President to vie for the Coalition's nomination."
This move is necessary for Trillanes to be included in 1SAMBAYAN's selection process, he said.
"Just to be clear, I am not dividing the opposition as there will only be one unified slate to be nominated by 1SAMBAYAN, and both VP Leni and myself have committed to support and campaign for its nominees," Trillanes said in a Facebook post.
ABS-CBN has reached out to Robredo's office for comments but has yet to receive feedback as of posting.
Trillanes said he would however "wholeheartedly step aside and withdraw my own candidacy in her favor," should Robredo decide to run for President before 1SAMBAYAN picks its nominees in July.
But until Robredo makes clear that she would seek to replace President Rodrigo Duterte, Trillanes said he would prepare policies on the COVID-19 crisis, economic recovery, the West Philippine Sea, and others.
"As I often stressed, the 2022 elections would be the most important elections in our nation's history after 1986. Not only our Democracy is at stake, our very survival as a country is at stake, too," said the former lawmaker.
He alleged the Philippines would "not survive another 6 years of a Duterte rule."
The President's daughter Davao City Mayo Sara Duterte-Carpio topped recent surveys on the most preferred potential candidates for the highest executive post.
In 2016, Trillanes ran for vice president, and lost to Robredo
Robredo in November said gunning for the presidency was "always a possibility," though she preferred a local post.