OVP spox to allies: Respect Robredo’s decision for next year’s polls
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesperson has called on allies to temper their impatience and respect her decision-making process about future political plans, amid remarks from various personalities about her supposed next moves for 2022.
Lawyer Barry Gutierrez said on Thursday that it is funny that Liberal Party (LP) members, officials, and allies have pressured Robredo to come up with a decision for 2022, while they themselves and a lot of people have been pissed with overeager politicians.
Robredo is rumored to be LP’s primary candidate for 2022, as several factions within the party have pledged to support her possible candidacy. But the Vice President has moved away from such conversations, and at one point said that she also wants to gun for a local post — that is, for Camarines Sur governor.
“While I understand that there is a certain level of impatience, there is a certain, you know, eagerness on the part of not just the senator but a lot of our supporters for the VP to immediately make a declaration now, I would just hope that they respect the process she is going through,” Gutierrez said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“Nakakatawa lang kasi ito, ‘di ba, dahil inis na inis tayo sa mga taong atat na atat tumakbo, ‘di ba — we look down on people who seem so eager to run for president, but when you get somebody like the Vice President who says that, you know, ‘I really have to think about this. This is something that I have to reflect on,’ you know, we are so eager to push her in the opposite direction,” he added.
(It’s just funny, because we are really irritated with people who are really eager to run in the elections right.)
Gutierrez also insisted that while Robredo is focused on contributing to the COVID-19 response, the issue has not slipped past her mind.
Talks of Robredo abandoning the presidential race surfaced after LP ally and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV asked the 1Sambayan coalition to consider him as a possible presidential bet as the Vice President seems interested in gunning for the said gubernatorial post.
Trillanes, who hails from the Magdalo party-list, also said that Robredo is already preparing for a campaign in Camarines Sur.
“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.
Trillanes, however, was rebuffed by LP official and former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., who said that Robredo is still keeping her options open regarding a possible presidential bid in 2022.
Gutierrez said that they were surprised with Trillanes’ decision, saying that he has not approached OVP or Robredo herself before concluding that the LP leader is already gearing for a Camarines Sur bid — adding that even Trillanes knows that Robredo is still open to running for president.
“Yeah, it was a surprise. You know, the senator has actually been an ally, and he has been in communication with us, you know, periodically over the course of the past few years. He knows what the Vice President’s decision-making process is. He knows that the Vice President is still very much open to running for president,” Gutierrez said.
“So it was a bit of a surprise to see him come out to say that the Vice President was already preparing to run for governor of Camarines Sur — which gave a lot of people maybe the unfortunate impression that she has already abandoned any intentions to seek the presidency in 2022, which is far from the truth,” he added.
Still, the OVP spokesperson stressed that they understand why Trillanes, LP officials, members, and other supporters are eagerly awaiting Robredo’s decision — especially since the party is really interested in making her the standard-bearer.
“I understand—and I think the Vice President understands—where Senator Trillanes is coming from. He just wants to be sure that come 2022, whatever Vice President Leni Robredo decides, there will be a single candidate that the opposition can rally around, and that candidate will embody what we feel should be represented by any candidate running against this particular administration,” Gutierrez said.
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