MANILA (UPDATE) - Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday she did not like the "unification formula" that Senator Panfilo Lacson proposed to her for next year's elections.
It requires opposition candidates to file their certificate of candidacy, and later withdraw and throw their support behind the frontrunner in surveys, according to the Vice President.
“Ayokong parang nili-lead on lang namin ang mga supporters,” Robredo said in her weekly radio show.
(I don't want us to seem like we're leading on our supporters.)
“Ang paniniwala ko, pag nag-file ang isang kandidato ng certificate of candidacy, piniprisenta na namin sa publiko ang sarili namin eh. 'Yung mga naniniwala sa amin, tataya na sa amin.”
(I believe that when a candidate files a certificate of candidacy, we're presenting ourselves already to the public and our supporters are betting on us.)
"Pag nag-file ako, kailangan kong ituloy ang laban. 'Pag nag-file ako, hindi ako puwedeng umatras, kahit gaano pa kahirap, kasi prinisenta ko na ang sarili ko sa publiko eh. Yun yung reason bakit hindi ako agreeable sa proposal."
(If I file my candidacy, I have to continue. When I file my candidacy, I cannot back out anymore, no matter how hard the fight is, because I already presented myself to the public. That's the reason why I did not agree with Sen. Lacson's proposal.)
Lacson last week said Robredo rejected his so-called 'formula' for a united opposition, but did not discuss details.
The senator, in a statement Sunday, said he respects Robredo's decision.
"I admit that while there could be some complications attendant to my suggestion, nevertheless, it was a sincere and selfless offer in support of her equally sincere efforts to have one common candidate against whoever will be the administration’s bet," he said.
"Included in my suggestion was to have SP (Senate President Vicente) Sotto as our common VP candidate, if only to emphasize that I have no intention of abandoning my partner."
Sotto announced last July 20 that he will run for vice president in 2022, in tandem with Lacson.
Their tandem is an "alternative" from the administration and opposition. "We are neutral," Sotto said then.
Robredo had previously said there should only be one opposition candidate in next year's polls.
When asked if she would run for president, Robredo said she was still searching for the “best formula" to apply in next year’s elections.
“Ang paniniwala ko, obligasyon ko 'yun ino-offer mo na sarili mo sa publiko, may mga taong susuporta sa iyo. Obligasyon mong panindigan 'yun," she said.
(I believe it's my obligation to offer myself to the public, to the people who support me. It's my obligation to stand by my decision.)