Joel Villanueva eyes reelection in 2022

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2021 10:12 AM | Updated as of Jul 15 2021 10:49 AM

Joel Villanueva eyes reelection in 2022 1
Sen. Joel Villanueva, while temporarily presiding over the hybrid plenary session on February 17, 2021, shares the reservation of Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on the issuance of “vaccine passport” which he said would limit the mobility of an individual. Villanueva said the provision on vaccination passport program might be perceived as forcing the people to get vaccinated when, in fact, it is voluntary. Joseph Vidal, Senate PRIB/File

MANILA (UPDATE) - Sen. Joel Villanueva said Thursday he is eyeing reelection in 2022, but left open the possibility of seeking another position.

"Yes, I would like to confirm that I would be running in the 2022 elections," he told ANC's "Headstart".

Villanueva bared he had been doing consultations with his political group Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) and some churches for a possible Senate bid.

"Yes 'yun 'yung plano (That's the plan). Siyempre (Of course), we don't want to close doors. Ang filing naman is sa (The filing [of certificate of candidacy is on) October pa but 'yun ang napag-usapan ngayon (that's what we talked about," he said.

The senator said some leaders in Bulacan suggested that he run for governor.

"Open naman tayo sa lahat (I'm open to everything) but right now the plan is to run for reelection," he said.

Villanueva, a former director-general of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, ranked second in the 2016 senatorial election, garnering more than 18.4 million votes.

He was also representative of CIBAC party-list during 12th, 13th and 14th Congresses.

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In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Villanueva ranked between 18th to 29th places in the senatorial preferences in next year's elections. There were 58 possible senatorial candidates included in the June 2021 poll.

With nearly a year before Filipinos head to the polls, he said "it's way too early".

"I'm not against surveys but it's just a perception. For me, I've been there. In 2016 elections, numbers wouldn't lie. I got 18,459,222 votes," he said. 

He noted that he lagged in the survey a year before the 2016 polls.

For the upcoming elections, Villanueva said the CIBAC party-list, which he is president, was not closing doors to coalition and alliances with other political parties.

"We are open to coalition. We are open to coalesce with bigger political parties. We've been talking to possible, potential presidential candidates like [Manila] Mayor Isko [Moreno], Sen. Manny [Paquiao]. Of course, VP Leni [Robredo]. Again, open tayo sa lahat as long as our principles and advocacies are aligned with each other," he said.

What's clear for now, Villanueva said, is he would be campaigning together with senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Migz Zubiri.