Robredo still open to forming alliance with other opposition bets – spokesman
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo’s camp has maintained being open to any chance of unification among opposition bets in the May 2022 presidential elections and form a formidable front to defeat an administration candidate.
Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Robredo, said they cannot speak for and predict the moves of other candidates but having others withdraw to give Robredo more chances of winning would be a welcome development.
From among opposition presidential aspirants, Robredo has been ranking highest in surveys, including the latest Pulse Asia polls conducted December 1-6.
“Mula naman simula ang posisyon naman ni VP at ng aming campaign ay bukas kami sa ganyang klase ng mga pakikipag-usap, ‘di ba. Pero mahirap sabihin eh, ano’ng mangyayari? Pero sa dulo syempre ‘yong desisyon has to come from individual candidates eh,” Gutierrez told ABS-CBN Teleradyo’s On the Spot on Thursday.
“Alam naman natin na bawat kampanya may kanya-kanyang dynamics, bawat kampanya may kanya-kanyang tinitignan, may kanya-kanyang tinitignan, ‘di ba may kanya-kanyang konsiderasyon,” he added.
Gutierrez then noted that 2022 has not even started yet, stressing that a lot of things may still happen in the coming months.
“Pero mahaba pa ‘to eh, ‘yon nga eh. December pa lang, wala pa tayo sa 2022. Marami pang posibleng mangyari at kung bahagi ito sa mangyayari na ‘yon, merong mga magpapahayag ng kanilang mga willingness na ‘di namin itutuloy ‘yong aming kampanya, at susuporta kami, kami bukas na bukas kami sa gano’ng klaseng pag-uusap,” he said.
One example, he explained, is the recent cooperation between Robredo and Senator Manny Pacquiao in relief operations for people affected by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines this year.
Pacquiao was among presidential bets that Robredo had talked to during so-called unity talks, in hopes of forging a strong alliance among opposition forces.
“So ako, mahaba pa ‘to, ang daming pwedeng mangyari, patuloy naman ang pakikipag-usap. Itong nga eh, itong nakaraan na apat na araw, nagtulungan si Senator Manny at si VP Leni sa relief operations. So kung pwedeng magtulong sa gano’ng klaseng gawain, eh pwedeng mag-usap sa iba. ‘Yon naman ‘yon eh,” he stressed.
On Wednesday, Pulse Asia released its latest 2022 presidential and vice-presidential survey that showed that Robredo got 20 percent of the respondents’ votes if elections were held during the survey period.
But while her numbers increased, Robredo was a far second to former senator Bongbong Marcos, who garnered 53 percent.
Pacquiao and Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” were at a statistical tie as both got eight percent while Lacson settled for the fifth spot with six percent of approval from the Pulse Asia survey respondents.
Gutierrez cited the notable percent gaps and expressed his belief that for Robredo to have a better chance, candidates who will withdraw — if any — would have to campaign for the Vice President.
“Kaya ako ang tinitignan ko dito, kung sakaling gano’n ang trajectory, direksyon nga ang pupunta, kung may mag-express ng willingness, hindi lang simpleng withdrawal. Talagang withdrawal at declaration of support, talagang mangangampanya para do’n sa taong susuportahan,” he said.
“Kasi in a way ang nagkaroon ng gano’ng klase ng unification ‘yong kabilang kampo ngayon, nagsanib puwersa ‘yong dalawang posibleng presidentiable, at kita mo naman talagang tumaas ang kanilang numero, nagwork for them,” he added, referring to Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who opted to run for vice president even if she was urged to seek the presidency.