LP ‘open to informal talks’ for 2022 polls but focus is on pandemic response
MANILA, Philippines — While the Liberal Party is “open to informal talks” regarding the 2022 national elections, its president stood pat that politics should be set aside to focus on addressing the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Asked about the newly-launched 1Sambayan coalition seeking to form a single slate of national candidates for 2022, Liberal Party president Senator Francis Pangilinan said the party welcomes “all efforts to unite.”
“I think all those groups and individuals and personalities who feel the country deserves better and believe that a different direction should be taken by our leaders should endeavor to unite and come together,” he told reporters in an online interview when asked to comment on the coalition led by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
“Pero wala pang official stand ang Liberal Party, we are open to informal talks but I think in the end—and I’ve said this—given the rising cases of COVID, I would rather be focused first on how to overcome the current problem of the COVID management and the spread,” he, however, added.
“We can talk politics maybe two, three months before the deadline of filing, maybe July, August?” he further said.
In launching the coalition, Carpio said that they have already met with some possible candidates, including Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Sen. Nancy Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, and former Sen. Antonio Trillanes.
Pangilinan maintained that his main concern as president of the Liberal Party is to address the recent rise in COVID-19 infections in the country.
The Vice President, who sits as the party’s chairman, also has a similar concern, according to the senator.
“Sa ngayon ang dami nang pinag-uusapan ang politika, I’d rather, as president of the Liberal Party and this is also the concern of the Vice President, is that we have to focus immediately and right now all our energy to try and figure out how we to get out of this resurgence of the virus,” he said.
Nevertheless, Pangilian said the party has been making efforts to prepare for the upcoming elections.
“It’s not as if we haven’t been going, doing our work, too. Since 2016, we have been organizing and we have been building chapters, so we’ve been doing that,” he said.
“Hindi naman sa wala tayong ginagawa para maghanda. Pero ngayon nga ang dapat tutukan ay problema ng COVID,” he added.
(It is not as if we have not been doing anything. But as for now, we really need to focus on the problems posed by COVID.)
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