Halalan 2022: What made Walden Bello decide to return to politics?
MANILA — It may be a long shot to return to politics and win as the next vice president of the Philippines, but several factors pushed Partido Lakas ng Masa vice presidential bet Walden Bello to run next year.
In an interview on ANC's In Focus on Tuesday, Bello said it was hard to refuse Leody De Guzman's offer to be his running mate. Ultimately, though, it was heeding the call to "offer honest solutions" to the country that sealed the deal.
“It was an offer that was very hard to refuse, after all, I have backed him all the way. So, I decided to say yes,” Bello, a university professor, said.
“As you all know, Leody [De Guzman] and I are not politicians, although I did serve in Congress for six years. I think what the country needs at this point are non-politicians to be able to really figure out the problems of our country and provide honest solutions to them,” he added.
Bello said the supposed human rights abuses and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte and the aspiration of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to seek the presidency pushed him to run for a national position.
"Over the last six years, we had a terrible time in terms of the country. The human rights abuses, especially the extrajudicial executions, have been just ghastly and morbid," the former lawmaker said.
"The economy has been really gone to the dogs, and then mismanagement when it can to COVID-19 which was treated like a military operation by the president, and finally this Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. running for office," he added.
"This is a family that raped the country for 14 years and never made an apology. And now he’s running again despite the fact that he was convicted of tax evasion. These are the conditions that made me say that one has to run in order to make a stand against this kind of politics that has really destroyed this country."
Bello substituted for Raquel Castillo, who filed her certificate of candidacy for vice president under Partido Lakas ng Masa.
—ANC, 21 December 2021