MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has formally declared his intention to run for president in the 2022 elections.
“In view of VP Leni’s preparations to run for Governor of Camarines Sur in 2022, I, together with the Magdalo group, have decided to convey to the 1SAMBAYAN Coalition to change my status from being an alternate candidate (to VP Leni) to being a principal candidate for President to vie for the Coalition’s nomination,” said Trillanes in a formal announcement through Facebook.
Trillanes, however, clarified that his bid for the presidency is not meant to divide the opposition.
He explained that he would “wholeheartedly step aside” in the event that Vice President Leni Robredo decides to run for president before 1SAMBAYAN picks its nominees in July.
“But until then, we would work on the assumption that VP Leni would run for Governor of Camsur,” said Trillanes.
According to Trillanes, switching his status to “principal candidate” is necessary to become included in 1SAMBAYAN’s nomination process.
He added that with this, the Magdalo can now start its preparations focusing on the development of policy prescriptions to solve the different problems of the country — particularly on the pandemic response, economic recovery and poverty alleviation, peace and order/security sector reforms, anti-corruption/governance reforms, universal healthcare, and foreign policy including the West Philippine Sea dispute.
The former senator then underscored the importance of the 2022 elections, stating that it is “the most important elections in our nation’s history after 1986.”
“Not only our Democracy is at stake, our very survival as a country is at stake, too,” Trillanes said.
He reiterated that in just five years, President Rodrigo Duterte has managed to “destroy our institutions, bankrupted the economy, worsened poverty and corruption, surrendered our interests in the WPS, and promoted incompetence in public service.”
“Worst of all, he made our people accept killings, immorality, indecency and vulgarity as the new societal norm,” stressed Trillanes.
“Truly, we WILL NOT survive another 6 years of a Duterte rule,” he added.
Trillanes said that what pushed him to announce his candidacy are the reports that Robredo has transferred her residence to prepare for her run as governor of Camarines Sur.
On May 5, the Philippine Statistics Authority revealed that Robredo has signed up for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) at the registration office in Magarao town, Camarines Sur, instead of her hometown in Naga City.
This further fueled rumors that she will run for Governor in Camarines Sur.
Robredo, on the other hand, remains coy on her plans for the 2022 elections but expressed that while she was open to the idea of running for president, she prefers running for local office.
The 1SAMBAYAN Coalition, launched in March, is a national coalition of democratic forces led by retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. It aims to “unify the opposition and usher in a competent and trustworthy administration” in the May 2022 national elections.
Among the personalities being eyed by 1SAMBAYAN for the presidency are Robredo, Trillanes, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Senators Nancy Binay and Grace Poe.