MANILA - The Liberal Party is not closing doors on anyone, but those who want to join the opposition must share the same advocacy, Vice President Leni Robredo has said.
In an interview over Vanguard Radio Network Friday, the vice president said it would be "difficult" for former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to become part of the opposition despite the latter's critical remarks against the administration.
"Hindi naman kami nagko-close doors on anyone, pero I think before we invite, before we invite people over, parating iyong tanong: Do we share the same values? Do we share the same principles? Kasi tingin ko iyon iyong batayan ng malakas na samahan," she said.
The Davao del Norte lawmaker, who is President Rodrigo Duterte's first Speaker, recently made headlines after criticizing the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a "failure."
He also said Duterte's successor "should have the brains" to solve the lasting impact of the pandemic and "not someone who just takes selfies and posts them on Facebook so they could be popular."
Alvarez was ousted from the speakership in 2018, in a move said to be orchestrated by the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Robredo said she wanted to avoid a repeat of the 2016 elections when party members jumped ship to ruling PDP-Laban when Duterte was elected to the country's highest office.
"Mahirap in the sense na iyong nangyari kasi sa party namin, talagang na-decimate kami, na-decimate kami after 2016," she said.
"Halimbawa, maliit naman talaga kaming party before, pero noong naging pangulo si President [Noynoy] Aquino, sobrang dami. Pero noong hindi na siya presidente, noong iba na iyong presidente, nawala ulit iyong marami."