Seeking to unite political forces for 2022, Robredo says ready for another round vs Marcos

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2021 06:11 PM | Updated as of Sep 17 2021 06:21 PM

Robredo says Lacson ‘closed’ door on talks
VP ready to face off with Bongbong Marcos again 

MANILA — Vice President Leni said on Friday she would work until the "last day" possible to unite anti-administration forces in the 2022 elections, the filing of candidacies for which would come in around 2 weeks. 

In line with this goal, Robredo confirmed a plan for her to meet with Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who are potential candidates for president next year. 

"Mayroong plano pero hindi pa siya natutuloy," she said, when asked if she would sit down with Pacquiao and Moreno at the same time.

(There is a plan, but it has yet to push through.)

The vice president declined to elaborate on this meeting, saying she did not want to preempt and possibly cancel the talks. 

"Hanggang sa last day, hindi ako—hindi ko ipe-prevent iyong sarili ko mag-exert ng effort to seek out itong mga ibang puwedeng maging partners for 2022. May kasabihan nga, ‘di ba, habang may buhay, may pag-asa," she said in a chance interview with reporters. 

(Until the last day, I will not prevent myself from exerting effort to seek out other potential partners for 2022. There is a saying that while there is life, there is hope, right?)


Robredo said she was giving herself until the third or fourth of week of September to decide which post to seek. 

Bets for president, vice president, and senator are required to file their candidacies from Oct. 1 to 8. 

"Kung ano iyong mapili ng unity ticket, tatakbo ako. Kung ako iyon. Kung one-on-one na Bongbong Marcos, lalaban ako kahit dehado," Robredo said. 

(Whatever the unity ticket chooses, I will run. If that's me. If it's a one-on-one against Bongbong Marcos, I will fight.)

Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race beat the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos by some 263,000 votes, among the narrowest margin in recent years. 
Marcos last week said "I know I can win" if he faced off with Robredo again in 2022. 

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"Kung kahit sino ang kalaban, basta ako iyong pipiliin ng anti-admin forces, laban ako," said Robredo.

"Iyong pine-prevent ko lang naman na kami-kami maghihiwa-hiwalay. Iyon iyong pine-prevent ko kaya nag-e-exert ako ng effort na pag-isahin lahat," she added. 

(Whoever the opponent is, as long as anti-admin forces choose me, I will fight. I am only preventing our separation. That's what I am preventing so I am exerting effort to unite everyone.) 


President Rodrigo Duterte last week accepted his party's nomination to run for vice president in next year's election, a move dismissed by opponents as a bid to stay in office to avoid potential legal action at home or abroad. 

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson on the same week declared his candidacy for next year's presidential election, the first to declare his bid to succeed Duterte as president. 

Asked if Robredo was also in talks with the lawmaker for an alliance, she said, "Several times na nagsabi si Senator Lacson na sarado na siya."

"Pero ako, parati ko naman ina-appeal kasi I am sure naman na mahal nila iyong bayan, iyong bansa, eh. Na ako, laging nag-a-appeal ako doon na iyon pa rin iyong umiral sa dulo," she continued. 

(Senator Lacson has said several times he is closed. But I am appealing this because I'm sure they love the country. I am always appealing for that to win out in the end.) 

Robredo recognized the difficulty in forming an alliance with other opposition figures, given that they belong to different political parties.

"Talagang iyong ideal, hindi mo ma-a-achieve na madali," said the vice president. 

"Pero sa akin, iyong hope ko lang ngayon na sana lahat kami magde-decide hindi to protect ourselves, hindi to protect our groups, pero kung ano iyong pinaka best formula para sa bayan natin." 

(The deal will not be easy to achieve. But for me, my hope is that we will decide not to protect ourselves or our groups, but on what will be the best formula for our nation.) 

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