Bam Aquino puts 2022 run aside to fulfill role to broker 'broadest coalition'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2021 06:18 PM | Updated as of Jul 30 2021 09:27 PM

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MANILA - Former Sen. Bam Aquino on Friday said there's a possibility he will not run for public office in next year's election, but he believes he still has a role to play in the run up to May 2022.

Aquino, who lost his reelection bid in the 2019 elections, said he prayed and asked God about what role he must play.

"Yung pumasok sa isipan ko back then and I still believe it now is that my role is try to build this coalition. My role is to try to bring together yung iba’t ibang mga grupo na posibleng noon ay hindi nagsasalita o posibleng noon ay hindi nag-uusap-usap. Pero siguro mahalaga na pagsama-samahin ang mga iba’t ibang mga grupo para magkaroon ng mas malakas na puwersa pagdating ng 2022," he told ANC's Headstart.

(What entered my mind back then and I still believe it now is that my role is try to build this coalition. My role is to try to bring together different groups who may not be speaking or mingling before. But perhaps it's important to bring together the different groups to have a stronger force in 2022.)

"I’ve been focusing on that. Hindi ko pa masyado naiisip yung pagtakbo ko. Honestly, that’s not the most important thing and I think lahat ng nasa side na ito, malinaw na yung personal na ambitions, personal na hangarin has to be secondary or tertiary. Pangalawa lang yan o pangatlo pagdating sa mas malaking hangarin natin ng pag-aayos ng krisis kung nasaan tayo," he said.

(I've been focusing on that. I haven't thought much about my own run. Honestly, that's not the most important thing and I think all people on this side, it's clear that personal ambitions, personal goals have to be secondary or tertiary. They come in second or third when it comes to a bigger desire to fix the crisis we're in right now.)

Aquino said his top priority now is to try to "build the broadest coalition," which is not only to be composed of politicians, but also of the youth, religious leaders, business leaders, and people from different sectors.

"Lahat ng gusto ng pagbabago, yun yung nakikita nating posibleng magtulungan at magsasama-sama upang makapagdulot talaga ng pagbabago in 2022," he said.

(Everyone who wants change, that's who we see that could come together and help each other to bring about change in 2022.)

Pressed again if there's a possibility that he won't run, Aquino said: "Yes." 

He affirmed that he is at peace with that because he prayed for it and he sees that the role for him is to bring people together. He admitted that "not everybody can run" and there are people who needed to perform other tasks.

Aquino, a member of the Liberal Party, has reportedly joined Vice President Leni Robredo in some of her meetings with potential presidential candidates. Although he did not give specific details about the meetings, he said it's too early to conclude anything.

"At this point, I think it’s premature to talk about any alliances. Pinag-uusapan pa lang ano yung bansa na gusto natin post-2022 at paano natin ito makukuha," he said.

(At this point, I think it’s premature to talk about any alliances. What's being talked about is what kind of country do we want post-2022 and how can we get this?)

"We have to accept and we have to look at the reality in our country na iba-iba yung panig natin. There have been issues na magkakaiba yung pananaw natin. We might have agreed on some points, we might have disagreed on other points, but what we can agree on is that we need change in this country, na kailangan nating magtulungan…We need to set aside our ambitions, set aside our issues and be able to forge a new future for our country," he added.

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