MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo is not in a hurry to announce her plans for the 2022 elections, despite being only few days away from the filing of candidacy.
"Lagi ko naman sinasabi since the start, presidency is destiny 'yan, di yan paunahan. Kapag nakalaan 'yan sayo kahit mahuli ka [mag-announce], sayo 'yan mapupunta," Robredo said in an interview with Radio Katipunan.
[I always say presidency is destiny. Not a race on who announces first. If it's meant for you, you will become president.]
"Future ng bansa natin nakataya- appreciative ako sa support ng lahat. Hindi ako kakandidato to please my supporters. Kakandidato ako kasi that is the best interest of the country. 'Yun ang mahirap kung paano sa assessment ko hindi sya magtutugma," she added.
[Our country's future is at stake. I appreciate all the support. But I will not run just to please my supporters. If I will run for president, it would be because it is the best interest of the country. But what if in my assessment, these goals don't match?]
Robredo said it was also her "duty" to negotiate, pray, and exhaust all possible avenues "to present the best chances for better governance come 2022."
"Mulat ako sa mga deadline; umuusad ang panahon; sa huli, mangyayari ang dapat mangyari," the Vice President said.
(I am aware of the deadline; time passes by; and in the end, what should happen will happen.)
Robredo, in a separate video message, said she also listens to her supporters.
"Naririnig ko kayo, nakikita ko ang nakikita ninyo, at karamay ako sa frustrations, pati sa pangarap ninyo para sa bansa."
(I hear you, I see what you seen, and I empathize with your frustrations and dream for the country.)
"Tanungin ko nga kayo ngayon: Mukha ba akong pagod? Mukha ba akong natatakot? Mukha ba akong kinakabahan?" she said, addressing naysayers.
(I ask you now: Do I look tired? Do I look scared? Do I look nervous?)
"Magtiwala kayo: Pagdating sa usapin ng halalan, isa lang ang nasa isip ko: Siguruhin na mawawakasan ang uri ng pamumunong ugat ng pagdurusa, paghihirap, at pagkamatay ng napakarami sa atin," continued the Vice President.
(Have faith: When it comes to the elections the only thing on my mid is make sure to end the kind of leadership on which the suffering, poverty, and deaths of so many of us are rooted.)
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday urged Robredo to announce her plans, after Senator Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso already publicized their bid to be President Rodrigo Duterte's successor.
"Kailangan nang sagutin ang pangamba ng karamihan kung pamumunuan niya ba ang tunay na oposisyon sa pamamagitan ng pagtakbo bilang presidente o ipapaubaya na lang sa iba na ipagpatuloy ang laban tungo sa tunay na pagbabago.
"Hindi tayo nagmamadali pero hindi rin dapat tayo nagpapahuli sa usapin ng taumbayan," he added.
- With reports from Jamaine Punzalan and Thea Alberto-Masakayan, ABS-CBN News