Robredo says 2022 polls may be ‘reset button’ for local politics
MANILA, Philippines — Unfazed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. clinching the backing of three former presidents, Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday said the 2022 elections could instead serve as a “reset button” for local politics, which has long been dominated by politicos from dynasties or oligarchic families.
Speaking to labor representatives who have expressed their support for her presidential bid, Robredo said the 2022 elections were especially important to frustrate the attempts of big political clans and figures to cement their hold on power through shady alliances.
This was after the political parties of former Presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo formed an alliance to support Marcos, Robredo’s top rival for the presidency, and his running mate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte.
Experts have noted that this endorsement was further proof of an Arroyo-Duterte-Marcos allyship, which many say would only entrench traditional politics and kill off chances for reform.
“This (the elections) is a chance to press the reset button: if we defeat them, we can usher in a new kind of politics where everyone has a chance to participate in governance,” Robredo said.
This was part of Robredo’s efforts to build a “people’s movement,” where ordinary people have a say in her campaign plans and platforms. It’s why, she said, she chose labor leader Sonny Matula to be part of her senatorial slate, despite admitting it would be “difficult” to get him in amid this prevailing political climate.
As such, Robredo and at least 10 labor groups signed a joint commitment to support her presidency in exchange for an agreed labor agenda under her presidency.
This agenda outlines plans to, among others, promote secure and quality jobs as well as green and climate jobs, achieve a “living wage” income for the working people, and provide social protection through public services.
They also seek the improvement of trade union and political rights and consultations on a regular basis to discuss labor and social advocacies.
“My commitment now is to give you more space and leeway to participate in governance. Because the answers are not with me alone. They rest in you. And the only thing I can promise you is to assure that you will have a space in my government,” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.