1Sambayan bares chosen candidates on Sept. 30 | Inquirer News
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1Sambayan bares chosen candidates on Sept. 30

MANILA, Philippines — The political coalition 1Sambayan is not about to give up hope in convincing antiadministration forces to come together in challenging President Duterte and his anointed candidates in the 2022 national elections.

In an online news forum on Friday, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said their group would continue to talk with Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso and Sen. Manny Pacquiao even after they announced their respective presidential bids.

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Carpio, 1Sambayan lead convener, said Vice President Leni Robredo, who has been the central opposition figure since 2016, and former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV were also still in their list of possible standard-bearer.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the first one to throw his hat into the presidential ring, would also be included in their choice of presidential candidate despite his earlier decision to turn down 1Sambayan’s invitation to join its selection process, he added.

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“The ‘unity talks’ will continue because even after you have filed you certificate of candidacy, you can withdraw, slide down or run for other [elective] office,” Carpio said.

“It’s still ongoing. Nothing is fixed in stone,” he reiterated.

Besides, he said, the camps of those who had already jumped into the presidential derby were still “talking to each other.”

‘Anything can still happen’

“We are not excluding anyone,” he said. “If our members say ‘we want someone out of these five [personalities],’ it’s OK with us because this is a consultation.”

As they had earlier set, Carpio said 1Sambayan would make public their chosen presidential and vice presidential candidates, along with its senatorial slate, on Sept. 30.

“But of course something might come out. There might be a rush of renewed hope for a unity ticket. So anything can still happen,” the retired magistrate said.

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1Sambayan, he stressed, would not join those who were pressing Robredo to make a decision now on her possible presidential run.

“The candidate may or may not declare before [Sept. 30]. It does not really matter to us,” he said.

Single unity slate

“It’s a separate process for us. Three of them have accepted our process. If one of them declares, one does not declare, it’s OK. We will continue.”

But Carpio said it would still be better if the opposition forces could support and muster their resources behind a single unity slate against the administration ticket.

Lawyer Howard Calleja, also a convener of 1Sambayan, pointed out that the support of various groups that helped Mr. Duterte win in 2016 was now “fragmented.”

Still without declaring that she will run for president in 2022, Robredo appealed to her supporters to trust her that “whatever needs to happen will happen,” as she thanked them for their encouragement.

In a short video message on Friday, Robredo said she saw the support of people who were asking her to pursue the presidency and that she knew their frustrations when it came to the country’s fate.

But she belied comments that she was discouraged from running because she was already tired and afraid to lose.

She also shut down the rumors that she was anxious with her lack of resources and political machinery to carry out a national campaign.

The Vice President said: “Do I look tired? Do I look scared? Do I look anxious?”

While her supporters had been waiting for her to make a final decision, Robredo said she would have to talk to everyone she needs to talk to, reflect, pray and exhaust “all possible avenues to present the best chances for better governance come 2022.”

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TAGS: 1Sambayan candidates, 2022 elections
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