OVP clarifies: Robredo hasn’t decided on 2022 plans yet; focus still on COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo hasn’t come up with a firm decision regarding her possible political plans for the 2022 elections, putting to rest speculations from allies that she would run for president or the governorship of Camarines Sur.
Barry Gutierrez, the spokesman for the Office of the Vice President (OVP), said on Wednesday that Robredo is focused on helping the country beat the COVID-19 pandemic, not on the upcoming elections.
“As VP Leni has repeatedly stated, her focus remains on helping our fellow Filipinos through the Covid-19 crisis,” Gutierrez said in a statement sent to reporters.
“She has not made a decision regarding the 2022 elections, and there is absolutely no truth to the claim that she is making ‘preparations’ to run for Governor of Camarines Sur,” he added.
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV announced on social media that he would run for the presidency in 2022, citing Robredo’s decision to run for governor.
Trillanes, from the Magdalo party-list and a Liberal Party ally, also said Robredo was gearing up for a Camarines Sur campaign.
“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,” he claimed.
Teddy Baguilat Jr., LP official for former Ifugao lawmaker Robredo, said Robredo is still keeping her options open about a possible presidential run in 2022 – echoing Gutierrez’s comments that no preparation for Camarines Sur has been made.
Robredo can’t run for governor of Camarines Sur since she’s a registered voter of Naga City, a highly urbanized city that doesn’t get to vote for governor, Baguilat said.
“Sen Tri’s (Trillanes) statement has been misinterpreted or was expressed mistakenly. VP Leni is still interested in running for Pres. Why are we working 24/7 organizing the machinery if not to prepare for that. Gusto lang siguro ni SenTri manigurado made meron alternative (Maybe he wants just a secure an alternative candidate),” Baguilat said.
“VP Leni is a registered voter of Naga. Naga doesn’t vote for the governor of Cam Sur being highly urbanized city. Thus, as a Naga voter, VP can’t run for Gov right. At any rate, wala syang ginagawang (she is not doing any) preparation for this plan. We in the party would know. It’s always work work,” he added.
Sen Tri’s statement has been misinterpreted or was expressed mistakenly. VP Leni is still interested in running for Pres. Why are we working 24/7 organizing the machinery if not to prepare for that. Gusto lang siguro ni SenTri manigurado made meron alternative.
— Teddy B. Baguilat (@TeddyBaguilatJr) May 12, 2021
Gutierrez said such discussions should be abandoned because the crisis requires officials to work and not politic.
“This is not a time for politicking, but for working for the people’s welfare. She remains open to all options, including a possible candidacy for President, and at the appropriate time, she will personally convey her decision on this matter,” Gutierrez explained.
According to Baguilat, LP is already working, getting ready for the 2022 elections.
“VP Leni I repeat has not changed her position and is still open to a 2022 presidential run. Linggo-linggo, we establish chapters preparing for 2022. Linggo linggo, kausap namin ang Magdalo kaya alam nila posisyan ni MamLeni. We continue to work for a United front,” he added.
(VP Leni I repeat has not changed her position and is still open to a 2022 presidential run. Week in and week out, we establish chapters preparing for 2022. Every week, we have been with Magdalo that’s why Ma’am Leni knows that. We continue to work for a United front.)