MANILA - Pro-democracy coalition 1Sambayan said Monday its nominees for the 2022 elections could still change, saying everything is still "fluid" until the filing of candidacy in October.
Lawyer Howard Calleja, one of the coalition's co-convenors, said they respect the "time of discernment" for the group's pool of possible candidates for president and vice president.
"I think what is clear is everything is fluid and open. When you say you are not interested or when you say there's no plans, but of course all of these can change tomorrow or next week. That's why we are saying we are giving them time. We respect the time of discernment," he told ANC's "Rundown".
"But again, we have to realize that the time of discernment is sometime on October 1 to 8, which is the filing of Comelec candidacy, should really be clear not only to us but to the Filipino people," he added.
The coalition on Saturday bared 6 names of its potential candidates for the country's top 2 posts.
1Sambayan named Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Grace Poe, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, CIBAC party-list Rep. Eddie Villanueva, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos, and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno as its possible nominees for president and vice president.
However, Poe and Santos-Recto turned down the coalition's nomination, as they were supposedly not running for any position in next year's elections.
While 1Sambayan is still broadening its coalition, Calleja noted that their nominees agreed to field only 1 candidate against the administration.
"We have a big field of individuals to choose from. We are broadening to all groups that's why we are asking things are fluid, things can change, things can add or can remain the same," he said.
"Whatever it is, I think what's important is all of these groups, all of these candidates agreed to the process and to the purpose of a united opposition at sama-sama naman po sila na nag-agree na magsuporta (they agreed to support) come election day," he added.
So far, Robredo and Trillanes have said they were open to running for the presidency.
To woo the Philippine electorate, Calleja said they would be presenting an issue-based campaign and nothing personal against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"We didn't hit on Duterte as a person. We hit the policies of the government that we feel... are not good for the Philippines," he said.
Among them are Duterte's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his pro-China stance on West Philippine Sea and the issue on extrajudicial killings.
To date, over 1.3 million people in the country contracted the coronavirus, of which more than 22,000 succumbed to the disease.
Upon assuming power in 2016, Duterte forged friendlier relations with China, setting aside the 2016 arbitral ruling invalidating Beijing's claim to the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, more than 7,000 died from the government's anti-illegal drugs campaign, based on government figures. Human rights groups claim a much higher count.
"What we'll be presenting is an issue-based campaign that would focus on the recovery of the pandemic, recovery for the economy and move this country beyond 2022, 2026 and over 2050," Calleja said.
"It would be a forward-looking platform of government, centering on ating sinasabing tapat na pamumuno o (what we're saying is honest leadership) or good governance," he added.
ANC, Rundown, 1Sambayan, Howard Calleja, 2022 elections, Leni Robredo, Grace Poe, Vilma Santos-Recto, Antonio Trillanes IV, Eddie Villanueva, Chel Diokno, Rodrigo Duterte