MANILA – It may now be harder to unite the political opposition under Vice President Leni Robredo, should she decide to run for president next year, especially now that Senator Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso have declared their intentions to seek the highest office in the land, a political analyst said Wednesday.
“It’s a bigger risk now of getting everyone’s support behind her to run for the presidency,” said Professor Edna Co, who heads the University of the Philippines’ extension program in Pampanga.
“I think one of the conditions that VP Leni Robredo cited was she’s going to be behind a united opposition.”
“But with the proclamation and the announcement of Mayor Isko Moreno and prior to that, of Senator Manny Pacquiao, the question now is which opposition is going to be united? Or will there be, will there still be an opposition that will be united by VP Leni?” she said.
“At this point, I’m not very, I’m running out of imagination on how, what next step VP Leni is going to take unless she moves in the direction of, say, going local as she had repeatedly mentioned,” Co said.
Robredo has said that she is not open to running for a Senate seat in 2022, but she can go for a local position if she decides not to run for President.
Her camp on Wednesday asked her supporters to stay "chill" as she held back on announcing her 2022 election plans.
Co noted that opposition coalition 1Sambayan seems to be lagging behind in its goal to unite the opposition.
“The very first coalition that have assembled themselves together, like the 1Sambayan coalition, is a bit trailing now in the sense that it has been very quiet on that front,” Co said.
“And therefore it raises a lot of questions to some voters. What happened to 1Sambayan coalition? Will it still field out a candidate for the presidency, or will VP Leni go local rather than pursue the highest position in the country?”
1Sambayan convenor Howard Calleja has said that a unity opposition candidate for 2022 is still possible.
“Ang maganda nito, all of them, or most of them now, have declared their intention and willingness to run. Hindi katulad dati na titingnan natin kung tatakbo sila or hindi. So we are one step closer,” he said.
--ANC, 22 September 2021