OVP confirms Robredo’s separate meetings with Lacson, Gordon for 2022 polls
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo separately met with Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon to discuss a possible coalition for the 2022 national elections, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) confirmed on Wednesday.
In a statement, Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said that while he does not know what specific topics were brought up during her last week’s meeting with Lacson, he can say that it was part of the Vice President’s efforts to unite the opposition.
“My understanding is that these meetings were held last week. I can’t speak about the specifics, but this is all part of the VP’s commitment to forge the broadest possible unity among groups and individuals seeking change in 2022,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez initially just referred to the meeting with Lacson, and was later on asked by reporters whether the meeting with Gordon happened too.
He then confirmed the talks between Robredo and Gordon, although he still refused to divulge details.
“Yes, I can confirm that they [Robredo and Gordon] met last week. Again, I cannot speak to specifics, but the general theme was exploring possible broader unities among those who want change in 2022,” Gutierrez said.
Earlier, Senator Lacson revealed during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum that he and the Vice President already met — although the lawmaker also refrained from disclosing the specific points that were raised.
Lacson said he was with Senate President Sotto — his possible running-mate should they pursue a bid for 2022 — while Robredo was accompanied by former Sen. Bam Aquino.
“Yes, nag-upo kami, kasama ko rin si Senate President, with Vice President Leni. At the time, kasama niya si [former] Sen. Bam Aquino,” Lacson told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum.
(Yes we sat and talk, I’m with the Senate president, with Vice President Leni. She was with former Sen. Bam Aquino.)
“Di ko lang ma-divulge yung pinagusapan dahil wala naman akong authority sa kanya para i-share yung aming pinagusapan. Pero nag-usap na kami,” he added.
(I can’t divulge what had been discussed because I am not in authority over her to share what we talked about. But we talked.)
Gordon, who is also mulling a second presidential bid, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday that the meeting with Robredo was for a partnership in 2022.
“I don’t know if I’m allowed by the Vice President, we had a chat last week. But I don’t want to say anything about what we talked about,” he said.
This was not the first time that Robredo and her Liberal Party (LP) were reported to be reaching out to possible candidates from the opposition, in an effort to field a single presidential candidate for the 2022 polls.
Last June 22, LP president Senator Francis Pangilinan said that they are reaching out to Lacson and other rumored names such as Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for the “broadest unity possible” come election time.
Rumors spread that Moreno and Robredo were discussing such topics after OVP opened a drive thru vaccination site in Manila, but the latter and Gutierrez said that no political things were discussed during their meeting.
Robredo has been hounded about questions about her next political step for 2022, in which she has remained open for the possibility of running for presidency. However, she also noted that she may opt for a local position — with talks saying that she is already intent on aiming for Camarines Sur’s gubernatorial seat.
For Lacson and Sotto, the pair have announced their intent to run in 2022. While the administration has yet to name its candidate, various surveys have shown that President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, has started to surface as a viable candidate.
According to Pulse Asia’s recent survey, Duterte-Carpio would be well ahead if elections were held in June, with Moreno ranking second.
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