MANILA - Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Monday said he is "open" to slide down from being Vice President Leni Robredo's running mate if it helps her win the presidency in 2022.
Members of the opposition are reportedly still pushing for unification talks between Robredo and other presidential contenders like Sen. Manny Pacquiao to strengthen the chances of beating the Duterte administration's Halalan 2022 slate.
Pangilinan said if one of the presidential contenders agrees to slide down to be Robredo's running mate as vice president in 2022 elections, he will consider being replaced.
"If that will secure the chances of Vice President Leni in terms 'yung boto nung kung sino man ang magsa-slide down ay mapupunta sa kaniya at lalo siyang magkakaroon ng malaking tsansa maipanalo tayo, bukas tayo," Pangilinan said in an interview with ANC's After the Fact.
The senator said that if him "sliding down will hurt our chances more than help it, of course, we will not allow her chances to be undermined."
Robredo, the Liberal Party chairperson but filed her candidacy as an independent to show openness to other oppositions groups, tapped Pangilinan as her running mate for vice president.
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a prominent opposition figure who was initially speculated to be her running mate, expressed his full support for Pangilinan.
Pangilinan earlier said he had no plans to run for vice president, and was preparing for a re-election bid when the Vice President urged him to be her political partner.
The senator and Robredo have opposed several key policies of President Rodrigo Duterte, including the war on drugs, stance on the West Philippine Sea, and push for death penalty.
Opposition coalition 1Sambayan, which nominated Robredo for the presidency, meanwhile recommended a different running mate, its convenor and retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said earlier.
"Her choice is not what we recommended. But under our process, she can nominate somebody else other than our choice," he told ANC.