Robredo to naysayers: Why keep speculating about my 2022 plans?
MANILA, Philippines — If the naysayers think she has no chance of winning the presidency, then why do they keep wasting their time speculating about her political ambitions in 2022?
This was Vice President Leni Robredo’s amused reaction on Sunday amid reports she was being considered by the Liberal Party as its standard-bearer in next year’s presidential elections, potentially pitting her against Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who emerged as the front-runner in a Pulse Asia survey released in December.
Last week, Robredo’s supporters launched a signature campaign called “I am ready for Leni,” that urged her to run for the country’s highest post.
The petitioners said it was their “deepest desire to see the Philippines back on its way to being one of the most economical, progressive, politically transparent, humane and respected countries in Asia.”
“We believe that Vice President Leni Robredo can lead us to this goal by leading the country as the next duly elected President in 2022,” read the petition, which has since garnered thousands of signatures.
On Sunday, Robredo thanked her supporters but again dodged questions about her plans for 2022.
“I have to admit that, in the deluge of work we face every day … for me, at least in our office, we’re just doing our jobs,” she said. “I don’t think it’s right that I should prioritize politics in a time of crisis.”
‘There is a right time’
“When the elections are near, then we will talk. But for now, we don’t want to be distracted from what needs to be done. There is a right time for that,” she added.
Robredo has launched different projects, in coordination with volunteer groups and civic organizations, to help people who have lost their livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, her approval rating, while stable at 57 percent, was still far behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s 91 percent, according to Pulse Asia.
But Robredo remained unfazed, noting that her work over the past few months only reminded her that “this was not the right time to, say, raise funds [for politics].”
“We have so much to do; 2022 should be the last thing on our minds right now. [We] need to channel our energies in looking for solutions, in helping,” she said. INQ