A 'real opposition' in Robredo in the 2022 polls is healthy for democracy - analyst

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2021 06:47 PM

 Vice President Leni Robredo waves to supporters after filing on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, her certificate of candidacy for president in the 2022 national elections. Handout, OVP
Vice President Leni Robredo waves to supporters after filing on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, her certificate of candidacy for president in the 2022 national elections. Handout, OVP

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo's presidential bid in 2022 affirms there is a "genuine opposition" which is healthy in any democracy, a political scientist said Thursday.

"It sends a very strong statement na talagang may totoong oposisyon na tatakbo. Kasi nakalulungkot at hindi maganda para sa isang demokrasya katulad ng Pilipinas na wala man lang tunay na oposisyon na tatakbo," Dr. Jean Franco of UP Diliman told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(It sends a very strong statement that there is a genuine opposition. It's sad and bad for a democratic country like the Philippines if there's no real opposition.)

Robredo, 56, formalized her candidacy for the presidency Thursday afternoon, offering herself as a better alternative to the administration.

She is running as an independent candidate to show "inclusivity" with supporters from all fronts, sources from her camp said.

"We need to free ourselves from the current situation. I will fight, we will fight. I offer myself as a candidate for president in the 2022 elections," she said in Filipino when she announced her presidential bid.

After being elected in 2016, Robredo has locked horns with President Rodrigo Duterte on several issues, including the administration's policy on the West Philippine Sea and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Portraying herself as a mother who chose to run again for office for the survival of her country is relatable, Franco said.

"Alam naman natin nitong pandemyang 'to, napakahirap ang inabot ng mga nanay from all walks of life, whether middle class at lalong-lalo na 'yung mga from low-income families... 'Pag panahon ng krisis, itaya mo, ang nanay lagi ang katuwang," she said.

(We all know the struggle of mothers from all walks of life during the pandemic, whether from the middle class or from low-income families... In times of crisis, I bet, mothers are always there.)

While Robredo is trailing in the latest poll for most preferred presidential candidates, Dr. Aries Arugay, also of the UP Diliman Political Science department, said it is very early to rely on surveys.

"Marami pa ang puwedeng mangyari hanggang sa actual na botohan," he told TeleRadyo.

(Many could still happen until the actual casting of ballots.)

Robredo has not formally declared her bid for presidency when the surveys were taken. In the 2016 race, she was also at the bottom of surveys before taking on the mantle of the vice president.

Last week, she was endorsed by an opposition coalition of political and civic groups as their standard bearer in the 2022 elections.

The 1Sambayan said Robredo had the integrity, competence and track record to lead the country.

For Robredo to win the elections, "she needs to offer a complete alternative to the way things are being run today given the pandemic, given our economic crisis," Arugay said.

The administration of Duterte has been accused of responding inadequately to the pandemic, which has now claimed over 38,000 lives. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque had repeatedly refuted the allegations.

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