MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday she has reached out to "almost everyone," including Senator Manny Pacquiao, as she sought options for the good of the country in the upcoming 2022 elections.
Robredo's camp earlier confirmed that she has met with Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon, who have expressed interest in running in next year's polls.
"I’ve exerted every effort to reach out to almost everyone already. I haven’t talked about it kasi hindi ko alam if they are comfortable na kinukuwento ko na na nag-usap kami. Pero I’ve always been very open that I am the one seeking, parang initiating discussions with almost everyone," Robredo told CNN Philippines in an interview.
(I haven’t talked about it because I didn't know if they would be comfortable with me discussing we've met. But I’ve always been very open that I am the one seeking, initiating discussions with almost everyone.)
"Because it’s a very important elections, we should really give unity a chance because too much is at stake. Kailangan maging bukas tayo, makipagkaisa sa mga taong maaaring, gaya ng sabi ko, iba ang pinanggalingan pero ang gusto rin pagbabago sa bayan."
(We need to be open, we need to be united with other people who might come from a different background but also want change for the nation.)
When asked what are her terms in running for presidency, Robredo said it was her "obligation" to find options for the good of the country.
"I’ve repeatedly said this na (that) I don’t think that the country can last another six years with this kind of governance...because we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we saw how governance played a very crucial role in crisis situations," she said.
"Ang paniniwala ko obligasyon kong maghanap ng maraming mga options hindi para sa akin pero ano ba iyong pagbubuti ng bansa. And iyong sinabi natin na ikabubuti ng bansa, again it’s many different things."
(I believe it's my obligation to seek many options, not for me but for the good of the country--and these are many different things.)
Robredo earlier said she had rejected Lacson's "unification formula" because she did not want to lead on her supporters.
The proposal requires all opposition candidates to file their certificate of candidacy and later withdraw it and support the frontrunner in surveys.
The opposition should not only talk among themselves regarding candidates in next year's polls, according to the Vice President.
"I’m more—hindi ko alam kung pragmatic iyong mas tamang term pero para sa akin, iyong paniniwala ko we should broaden the base. Totoong marami kaming differences pero the reason why the exploratory talks are happening is because we want to see if we have common grounds that we could agree on," she said.
(I'm more—I'm not sure if pragmatic is the better term—but I believe we should broaden the base. It's true we have many differences but the reason why the exploratory talks are happening is because we want to see if we have common grounds that we could agree on.)
Robredo said she has met with Pacquiao twice so far. The senator is in the US for his fight against Errol Spence Jr.
"Pinag-uusapan pa lang namin iyong mga pakiramdam namin about the elections at ano ba iyong stand namin about this, mga ganoon lang naman muna, iyong tinatanong ko. Wala pa ngang pinag-uusapan kung sino ang susuportahan," she said.
(We just talked about our expectations in the elections and what are our stands in certain issues. We've yet to talk about who we will support.)