Robredo to back Isko-Pacquiao tandem if it will bring end to current regime
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo is open to supporting a tandem between Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao in the 2022 Presidential elections if that is what it will take to end current governance.
Robredo said on Monday that she is willing to consider any proposal that would come out of her discussions with various factions, intending to form an opposition coalition that could challenge President Rodrigo Duterte’s anointed candidate in 2022.
“Ako, yes. Yes, if that will be the result of discussions. If that will be the result of the discussions of the broadest coalition that we can form,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
“Sabi ko naman, bukas ako sa kahit ano na would put a stop to this kind of governance already,” she added, referring to the administration’s handling of issues like the COVID-19 pandemic.
(I have said that before. I am open to every possible option to stop this kind of governance already.)
In reply, Pacquiao said that she is thanking Robredo for trusting him, but the world-renowned boxer admitted that he has not made a decision yet — on whether he would retire from boxing and run as president, or make another senatorial bid.
“I’m thankful to Vice-President Leni Robredo for her trust in me ngunit tulad ng nasabi ko ay pinag-iisipan ko pang mabuti kung alin sa tatlong option ang pinagpipilian ko: ang presidency, ang tumakbo bilang senador o ang tuluyan nang magretiro sa pulitika,” Pacquiao said.
(I’m thankful to Vice-President Leni Robredo for her trust in me but as I have said before, I am still thinking hard what would be the best thing to do among the three options: the presidency, running for the Senate, or just retiring from politics.)
Although she had started talks with senators, Pacquiao and Moreno are two possible presidential candidates Robredo intends to contact. Robredo and Pacquiao had done one meeting already, while the Vice President and Moreno, on the other hand, know each other well from collaborating on Manila’s drive-thru vaccination program for frontlines.
Before meeting with Pacquiao and Moreno, Robredo had discussed 2022 election matters with Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon, who are both rumored to be running for president. Senator Lacson has shown more interest in running, picking Senate President Vicente Sotto III as his running mate.
Robredo said she is considering running for president as well, saying that it would be considered if it is the best option for the opposition.
If Moreno backs out, for example, Robredo says it could influence her decision whether or not to run for president.
The grassroots support Robredo is receiving will be considered as well.
“Ako, it’s [candidate backing out] a factor but it’s just one of the many factors. Gaya nga ng sabi ko, I’m open to all possibilities. Pero sa akin lang, ano ba iyong makakabuti sa ating lahat,” she said.
(For me, a candidate backing out is one of many factors to consider. As I said, I am open to all possibilities, but I am asking myself, what is the best scenario for all of us?)
“Before the surge happened, I’ve been talking to them. I’ve been talking to many different groups. Although in the past three weeks, nadagdagan na iyon. So ngayon (Right now), I would try to resume talking to them again kasi (because) I would want to involve them in the decision-making process,” she added.
She has not yet decided whether she will run for the presidency in 2022. However, the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) spokesperson last Wednesday informed reporters that Robredo is close to reaching her deadline, which includes grassroots initiatives such as those led by Team Leni Robredo.
Robredo said before that she would consider various options, including running for president or opting for an elective position on the local level, such as gubernatorial elections in Camarines Sur. A primary consideration is which scenario is most advantageous to the opposition, as she mentioned earlier.
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