1Sambayan backs Robredo's possible presidential bid

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2021 02:34 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2021 06:00 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo addresses the nation from her office to offer anew additional recommendations to the country's COVID-19 response, and to send a message of unity amid this crisis. The video address, which was aired Monday, September 28, expressed her office's willingness to collaborate in various COVID-19 response efforts, as she once again called for strategic and organized action in order to address the needs during this crisis. Charlie Villegas, OVP
Vice President Leni Robredo addresses the nation from her office to offer anew additional recommendations to the country's COVID-19 response, and to send a message of unity amid this crisis. The video address, which was aired Monday, September 28, expressed her office's willingness to collaborate in various COVID-19 response efforts, as she once again called for strategic and organized action in order to address the needs during this crisis. Charlie Villegas, OVP

MANILA (2nd UPDATE)—1Sambayan on Thursday picked Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential candidate for next year's elections, encouraging its members to rally behind the presumptive opposition nominee in a bid to defeat administration candidates.

"1Sambayan is pleased to announce to the nation that it has reached a decision to endorse Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential candidate for the May 2022 elections," retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio said in a press briefing.

The opposition coalition agreed to put forward Robredo as their candidate to take up the country's highest office following a lengthy selection process and survey among its 3 million members.

Carpio said the coalition based their decision on several criteria, such as integrity, competence, track record and winnability.

"We therefore asked VP Leni to accept our endorsement to lead the Filipino people in these difficult times in our history," he said.

"And we asked the Filipino people to join 1Sambayan in supporting VP Leni as the next President who will lead us in healing our nation, reviving our economy, generating employment, eliminating hunger, ending the wanton killing of fellow Filipinos, eradicating graft and corruption, defending our sovereignty and sovereign rights, strengthening our democratic institutions, upholding our civil liberties and restoring our pride and dignity as a people."

ROBREDO ASKS FOR PRAYERS 

Robredo thanked 1Sambayan for its trust, which she dubbed "a great honor."

She asked supporters to join her in prayer in the next days so "that our decision will be what is best for our country." 

"Mabigat ang hinihiling sa isang pangulo. Maraming responsibilidad at obligasyon ang dala nito—buhay at kinabukasan ng Pilipino ang nakataya," Robredo said in a statement. 

(What is asked of a president is heavy. This brings many responsibilities and obligations—the lives and future of the Filipino are at stake.)

"Ang desisyon sa pagtakbo, hindi pwedeng nakabase sa ambisyon, o sa pag-udyok ng iba. Sa loob ito dapat manggaling, dala ng pagharap sa lahat ng konsiderasyon at malalim na pagsuri sa situwasyon. Mulat tayo sa tungkulin natin, bilang pinuno at Pilipino, at taimtim na pagninilay at pagdarasal ang ginagawa natin."

(The decision to run cannot be based on ambition or the calls of others. It should come from within, brought by facing alls considerations ad deep scrutiny of the situation. We are aware of our duty, as a leader and a Filipino, and we are reflecting and praying on it.)

WILL LENI ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE?

Robredo, however, has yet to formally declare her bid for the presidency. The filing of the certificate of candidacy will start on Friday, Oct. 1.

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party where Robredo sits as chairperson, said the Vice President was in "deep discernment" about her political plans in 2022. 

Robredo had said she was still hopeful that the opposition's unification talks for the 2022 elections would prosper before the closing of the filing of candidacy, despite recent presidential bid announcements.

Should Robredo decline 1Sambayan's endorsement, Carpio said the coalition's convenors would meet again.

"But for us, that's a remote possibility because she already said that she's willing to save the country from plunder, from dictatorship. She's willing to accept the challenge," he said.

While 1Sambayan didn't reach a consensus among its members on its presidential candidate, Carpio said an "overwhelming majority" of convenors picked Robredo.

The other contender was Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso who formally announced his presidential bid last week.

In its internal survey, 1Sambayan members also chose former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as its top choice for Vice President, Carpio told reporters.

However, Carpio said that the group's vice president and senatorial candidates would be chosen in consultation with Robredo, should she run in next year's elections.

BEHIND IN SURVEYS?

Launched in March, 1Sambayan seeks to field a single slate of national candidates in the 2022 elections to counter the Duterte administration's bets.

The group is comprised of 123 organizations and coalitions, 47 local chapters, 22 foreign chapters and 12 youth chapters and organizations.

1Sambayan conducted survey among its members where respondents were asked about issues most important to them and their bases for choosing their candidates.

Choices for issues include jobs, pandemic response and health, West Philippine Sea, education, environment, justice and peace, corruption and incompetence, human rights, hunger, moral and cultural values, prices and inflation, and infrastructure, transportation, and telecommunications.

Among the qualities of the candidates that survey respondents are asked if they will consider: personal and public integrity, track record or past performance, and campaign machinery.

In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Robredo trailed behind other possible candidates in the presidential survey, garnering 8 percent approval among respondents. The poll was conducted from Sept. 6 to 11.

Other major aspirants for next year's presidential race senators Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson.

In her 2016 run for vice president, Robredo trailed behind opponents in surveys but emerged as the winner for the country's second-highest post. 

"Historically, those who were ahead in surveys at this time of the year lost the elections. The surveys this time of the year do not really reflect what will happen in the elections," Carpio said.

"The surveys that matter are the surveys sometime in February of next year. It's very early to rely on surveys right now."

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