Robredo OK with unity among opposition in 2022 polls — spox
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said Friday night that his boss is amenable to the idea that there should be “some kind of unity” among the players within the opposition bloc for the 2022 national elections.
But while Robredo has been actively standing up against certain policies of the Duterte administration, Gutierrez said that the Vice President’s Liberal Party is just one player in the entire opposition bloc gearing for the 2022 national elections.
Speaking to One News’ The Chiefs on Friday, Gutierrez said that while his principal leads LP, it is just one facet of the opposition, and cannot claim to represent the interest of those others who are similarly critical of the administration.
Gutierrez was responding to a question on whether Robredo is taking an active role in organizing the opposition for the 2022 polls, through the 1Sambayan initiative that seeks to create a strong coalition among anti-administration sectors.
“Her view on 1Sambayan is, it is a legitimate process to come to some kind of unity because obviously, she recognizes she is chairperson of the Liberal Party, yes. But it is not the Liberal Party, it is not the only player in the current political spectrum,” he said.
“She is taking a lead role in terms of performing her duties as Vice President, she is taking a lead role whenever she makes a position on an issue known, when she expresses her opinion on certain policies, particularly in respect to the ongoing COVID-19 response operations of government,” he added.
He also noted that the approach towards the 2022 elections remains the same, and that is to build a bigger opposition coalition that would challenge the possible administration slate, but that this is saddled by the lack of unity among the factions within the opposition.
“And if the opposition is going to have any chance, you want as many people and as many groups as possible under your tent. And that is what 1Sambayan provides: it’s a more-or-less neutral venue where people from various persuasions can come together and hopefully, come to some level of unity and agreement,” Gutierrez explained.
“But clearly, she recognizes, she is leader of the opposition, she is the chairperson of the Liberal Party, she is the highest-ranking elected official that is part of the opposition,” he emphasized.
In terms of preparation, Gutierrez admitted that they know LP has been preparing for the 2022 presidential elections.
“Well LP is moving. Well I’m not part of LP so I can’t speak for them, but members of the Liberal Party have actually gone on record, they have spoken up to say that their first choice, their candidate will be Vice President Leni Robredo if she decides to run, their support will be full and unequivocal,” he said.
“And that right now, they are already moving to prepare the ground for a possible presidential run for the VP, or whoever else is, that will stand as the presidential candidate,” he added.
Robredo claimed she has yet to decide on her next political move for the 2022 elections, with talks that she was eyeing the gubernatorial post in her native Camarines Sur.
Despite this, Robredo remained to be the top contender for the post, and was even one of 1Sambayan’s potential presidential candidates, along with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay, and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Last May 12, Trillanes said that he would run for president, backing out only if Robredo would have a change of heart — claiming that the Vice President is intent on pursuing a local position. This was denied by both Robredo and Gutierrez.
In March, several left-leaning groups warned the 1Sambayan coalition that the initiative cannot be called a ‘united’ opposition if it leaves the masses out of the discussion.
According to the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), the masses’ political exercise must not be left to merely voting come election time, but also in choosing the candidates that the opposition would field.
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