MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday the endorsement of opposition coalition 1Sambayan was a linchpin for her decision to run for president in next year’s national elections.
She said she initially did not plan to run for the country’s top post, hoping to unite two potential candidates for president to increase the chance of preventing a repeat of a Marcos or Duterte administration.
“Yung balak ko talaga— either magpapahinga ako o kakandidato ako ng lokal. Kaya nag-exert tayo ng maraming effort na magkaroon sana ng unification para tutulong na lang ako sa national candidates at uuwi ako sa amin para dun naman magbuhos ng serbisyo," she said in her weekly radio program.
(My plan was to either rest or run for a local position. That's why I exerted effort in the unification talks so I can just help national candidates and serve my hometown.)
"Nung ni-nominate tayo ng 1Sambayan na, dun talaga na parang, dun nagbago na seryosong isipin na tumakbo na."
(When 1Sambayan nominated me, that's what changed my mind to run.)
When the unification talks failed, Robredo said she decided to think about who to support next — particularly a candidate who holds the same values as hers.
“Yung pinagdarasal natin, 'di nangyari. At andoon, na-realize - mahirap na mag-unite 'pag merong hindi alignment sa paniniwala,” she said.
(What I prayed for didn't happen and that's when I realized it's difficult to unite people when our beliefs are not aligned.)
But again, no one, in her definition came close. Hence, her decision to run even without the necessary resources to win.
“Alam natin kung gaano kahirap kasi wala tayong makinarya ngayon, 'di tulad nung 2016. Wala tayong resources na kailangang-kailangan sa kampanya. Hindi tayo naghanda. Alam natin na marami sa mga kumakandidato, ilang taon nang naghahanda. Tayo ay wala talaga," she said.
(I know how hard it is because I don't have a political machinery like in 2016. I have no resources which are needed for a campaign. I'm not ready, and we know these candidates have been preparing for years. I have nothing.)
Robredo thanked those who expressed their support immediately after her announcement.
“Nag-decide tayo with finality noong Huwebes.. 'Di natin inaasahan yung overwhelming reaction ng tao,” Robredo said.
(I decided with finality last Thursday...I did not expect the public's overwhelming reaction.)
This includes volunteers spending their own money and resources to help her campaign, those posting their support on social media, and even celebrities backing her up.
“Hindi talaga namin inaasahan. Parang affirmation na tama ang desisyon namin. Ang dasal ko… klaro ang mensahe ng nasa taas kung ano ang dapat kong gawin,” she said.
(I really did not expect it. It's like an affirmation that my decision was right. I pray...the message from above is clear on what I must do.)
“Sana mapalawak pa natin ang ating hanay kasi ito lang ang pwedeng lumaban sa fake news. Nahihirapan kaming i-penetrate ang mga sites na fake news at propaganda kasi gumagastos sila ng napakaraming pera, at ang daming naniniwala kasi ito ang nababasa nila at nahihirapan kami kasi wala kaming resources."
(I hope our numbers against fake news multiply. We can't penetrate fake news sites and propaganda because they have big funds and many people believe them. We struggle because we don't have resources.)
She added, “Pero pag taumbayan na ang gumalaw, ah walang sinabi ang mga propaganda na ginagawa nila."
(But if the public makes a move, their propaganda won't stand a chance.)
From Oct. 1 to 8, the Commission on Elections received a total of 97 individuals who filed their candidacy for the country's top post for the May 9, 2022 polls. The list will be screened to pick out which ones are serious and which ones are nuisance bets.
The other aspirants include Senators Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, and Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa; Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko" Moreno, and former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr..
The final list of candidates may be finalized by December, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.