1Sambayan to name bets for 2022 polls in September; Lacson out
MANILA, Philippines — The candidates of opposition coalition 1Sambayan for the 2022 national elections may be named by late September, its lead convenor said Friday.
Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, lead convener of 1Samabayan, said the coalition continues to accept nominations for its candidates in the coming polls.
“We have not closed the period for submitting nominations and we expect to complete our process by September… some time in the later part of September, we may be able to announce the candidates of 1Samabayan,” he said in a press briefing hosted by the coalition ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address.
“But right now, we are continuing our organization,” he added.
He said that the coalition is putting up chapters across the country and abroad, conducting town hall meetings, and recruiting partners.
The retired magistrate further belied claims that the coalition is “not inclusive.”
“That’s why up to now we’re trying to form a bigger coalition, we’re talking with a lot of political parties, a lot of NGOs (non-governmental organization) to form part of the 1Sambayan coalition. We believe in expanding our membership, we are very inclusive, in fact,” he said.
1Sambayan is campaigning to field a common opposition candidate to defeat whoever Duterte would endorse in the 2022 polls.
Last June 12, 1Sambayan revealed six nominees for president and vice president: Vice President Leni Robredo, Former Senator Sonny Trillanes, Senator Grace Poe, Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list and Rep. Eddie Villanueva, Human rights lawyer Atty. Chel Diokno and Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto.
The coalition also reached out to Senator Panfilo Lacson to be among its presidential nominees but the lawmaker declined, saying his participation “will be construed as lack of propriety on my end in light of your prior pronouncements suggesting that my representation will be a ‘stumbling block’ on your political endorsements.”
Lacson recently confirmed he will be joining the presidential race in 2022, with Senate President Vicente Sotto III as his vice presidential candidate.
Despite Lacson declaring his presidential candidacy, Carpio said the senator has already been ruled out from 1Sambayan’s selection process since the latter already declined.
“Senator Lacson isn’t a part because he has not agreed to be part of the process. We invited him but he declined and he announced his candidacy for president,” Carpio said, noting that the coalition’s objective is to present a “unified slate” for the elections.
“For those who want to join the process of 1Sambayan, if you are not chosen, you will support the candidate that is chosen by 1Sambayan… Only one candidate for president because we believe that is the best way to beat the candidate of President Duterte,” he added.
With less than three months left before aspirants file their certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections in October, 1Sambayan is confident it can field a unified ticket by then.
“It’s still very early and, really, the tickets are formed after the filing of the certificates of candidacy even after candidates file their certificate of candidacy, they still continue to form coalitions,” Carpios said.
Lawyer Howard Calleja, 1Sambayan co-convenor, also expressed confidence that those declaring their candidacies this early may still opt to “join forces” with the coalition.
“Those statements or declarations this early are not signs that they will indeed file their candidacies in October. I wouldn’t be surprised if some senators or even some of the president or vice president declarations would either withdraw or join forces with us,” he said.
“As stated already, it’s still very early, and we’re still in the process of uniting. And I wouldn’t be surprised that even some of them are joining us in the future,” Calleja added.
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