Some orgs within 1Sambayan worried: Is the choice of Robredo premature? | Inquirer News
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Some orgs within 1Sambayan worried: Is the choice of Robredo premature?

/ 08:30 PM October 01, 2021
Some orgs within 1Sambayan worried: Isn’t decision to pick Robredo premature?

Logo of 1Sambayan launched by former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio to challenge President Duterte’s ‘anointed one’ in the 2022 polls

MANILA, Philippines – Some groups within 1Sambayan have expressed concern with the coalition’s selection of Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential candidate, saying that the decision may be premature since factions are still trying to find a united opposition slate.

In a joint statement on Friday, member-groups Kilusang Mayo Uno, Tanggol Magsasaka, National Union of Students of the Philippines, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Promotion of Church People’s Response, Health Alliance for Democracy, and Katribu warned that the decision may hamper unity talks as it may be seen as a sign of preference.

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The groups clarified though that they fully support Robredo’s bid to talk with other sectors with whom the opposition can align, to form a singular force that would prevent the return of Marcoses to power and another brand of governance similar to President Rodrigo Duterte’s.

“We support Vice-president Leni Robredo’s ongoing efforts to unify all democratic forces and avail of all options in ensuring the defeat of Duterte and Marcos.  It is in this spirit that we express serious concern that the selection and endorsement by 1Sambayan of any presidential candidate at this time is premature and will hinder rather than help in attaining this primary objective,” the groups said.

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“We are concerned that 1Sambayan’s role in contributing to unification will be hampered by the perception that it has sealed support for a particular candidate. In a situation that remains very fluid, all efforts at forging a single unified slate should be exhausted and all options should remain open,” they added.

According to them, their request that 1Sambayan make a decision after the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COCs) is not a knock on Robredo, as they too believe that she is qualified and worthy of support.

However, they also noted that Robredo has not yet released her own decision for the same reason — a yearning to build a strong opposition coalition.

“Vice President Leni Robredo is a very competent and principled leader worthy of 1Sambayan’s support. It is notable that VP Robredo has not declared her intent to run because she herself is still engaged in efforts to unite various parties against Duterte and Marcos,” the groups stressed.

“We had expressed on the occasion that it would be best for 1Sambayan to make a decision on the endorsement after the period of filing of certificates of candidacy. By then we would have a clearer picture of who are running. This would also allow all unification efforts, including VP Robredo’s, to proceed unhampered,” it added.

On Thursday, 1Sambayan announced that they had picked Robredo as their preferred candidate for the 2022 national elections, besting other potential candidates gleaned over by the coalition.

READ: 1Sambayan poll: Robredo, Trillanes top picks for president, VP 

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READ: 1Sambayan picks Robredo as presidential candidate for 2022 polls 

According to retired senior associate justice Antonio Carpio, they expect Robredo to make a decision soon, saying that they believe it is only a “very remote possibility” that the Vice President declines their invitation.

READ: Robredo declining nomination for president a ‘remote’ scenario – Carpio 

However, Robredo still has not made any decision despite the filing of COCs starting earlier.  Currently, Robredo is in her hometown Camarines Sur, to change her voter registration from Naga City to nearby Magarao town.

For a long time now, Robredo has been a keen advocate of unity talks to form the best team for the 2022 polls.  However, all of the candidates Robredo talked to — Senators Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno — have already decided to run for president.

Earlier, Pacquiao already formalized his candidacy, filing a COC before the Commission on Elections.

Still, there are several options for Robredo: in the past, she had also opened about totally retiring from politics.  Then last Wednesday, Liberal Party president and Senator Francis Pangilinan said that Robredo going for reelection as vice president is also an option.

READ: Robredo ready for backlash if she drops out of presidential race 

READ: VP run in 2022 an option for Robredo, says Pangilinan 

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TAGS: 1Sambayan, Liberal Party, LP, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Office of the Vice President, opposition coalition, Philippine news updates, Senator Manny Pacquiao, unity talks, Vice President Leni Robredo
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