'We were this close to unification:' Robredo bares 'heartbreak' over candidacy declarations

Thea Alberto-Masakayan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2021 04:43 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2021 05:02 PM

Robredo says still seeking out ways to unify opposition

Vice President Leni Robredo personally appears before the House Committee on Appropriations on September 10, 2021, for deliberations on the recommended P713.41-million budget of the Office of the Vice President for 2022. Jay Ganzon, OVP
Vice President Leni Robredo personally appears before the House Committee on Appropriations on September 10, 2021, for deliberations on the recommended P713.41-million budget of the Office of the Vice President for 2022. Jay Ganzon, OVP

MANILA - Despite a recent "heartbreak," Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said her quest to unify the opposition remains, even after declarations of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Sen. Manny Pacquiao that they would run for president in 2022. 

"Hindi pa ako sumusuko," Robredo told Noel Ferrer in an interview over Radyo Katipunan.

[I refuse to give up.]

"Kung tama ang aking assessment, we were this close [to unification.] Heartbreaking talaga siya for me," she added, recalling how last week she was hoping she could already announce that an agreement had been reached. 

[If my assessment was right, we were this close to unification. It was really heartbreaking for me.]

"Umaasa pa rin ako [na] bukas pa rin sila na despite declaration, sana huwag nila isara lines of communication...pakiusap ko lang naman kung pwede pag-usapan how to best move forward with the interest of the country," added Robredo. 

[I am still hopeful that despite their declaration, they are still open for unification, that they don't shut down the lines of communication, that we can still discuss.]

Robredo said during her talks with other political camps, it was "very clear" that many of them already wanted change.

"'Yung pagpuna na hindi maganda 'yung nangyayari ngayon, kailangan na palitan, klaro 'yun," said Robredo.

Earlier in the day, Domagoso said Robredo never asked him to run as her vice president.

The opposition leader, whose supporters have expressed restlessness over her political plans, said she was deciding not for her political career but for what would be best for the Philippines. 

"The more na hindi kami nagsasama-sama, mas madali para sa kanila na sila ulit o makabalik sila," said Robredo, referring to the Duterte and Marcos families. 

[The more that we are not unified, it would be easier for them to stay in power or to return to power.]

President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted his party's nomination as vice presidential bet next year. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, was meanwhile named the presidential bet of his father's party Kilusang Bagong Lipunan though he said he has yet to finalize 2022 plans. 

Robredo said she was also not dilly-dallying but that she really has no decision yet as she remains occupied with the demands of her job.

"Ang trabaho ko, COVID response. Very conscious ako about that, that opisina namin di maiinvolve sa pultika," she added.

[I am busy with COVID response. I am very conscious that the office would not be involved in politics.]

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