Leni: I would have joined race even without a running mate
MANILA, Philippines — Had Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan declined the offer to be in tandem with her, Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo revealed she would have pushed through with her candidacy for the 2022 elections even without a running mate.
During a virtual conversation hosted by Pangilinan himself and his wife, actress-singer Sharon Cuneta (aka Megastar), along with her fans, Robredo said she had no other choice but the senator as her running mate.
“When I decided to run [for president], the first person I spoke to [as my running mate] was Senator Kiko,” Robredo said in a mix of Filipino and English during the virtual talk aired live on Friday night on the Megastar’s official Facebook page.
“I had no other choice [for my running mate],” she added. “I was ready for him (Pangilinan) to decline, but had he declined, I would not have invited anyone else. I really said that I would run even without a running mate.”
Robredo is running as an independent candidate, as shown on the certificate of candidacy she filed before the Commission on Elections last year. Pangilinan, meanwhile, is running as vice president under the Liberal Party.
Pangilinan will face off against Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Buhay party list Rep. Lito Atienza, Dr. Willie Ong and former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello in the vice presidential race.
A friend of her husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, the 56-year-old presidential hopeful also disclosed that she chose Pangilinan to be in her ticket “because of his simplicity, and always ready to help without fanfare.”
“I saw how he works and for us public officials, what’s important, too, is the personality,” Robredo said, adding: “There are many who are great but somewhere along the way, they forget the values.”
She also said that Pangilinan has been a public servant “for a long time,” and she saw how the opposition senator was able to “preserve his beliefs” of being a family man.
The Vice President pointed out how Pangilinan, despite being both a public official and popularly known as the husband of the Megastar, managed to “retain his simplicity,” which Robredo acknowledged was hard to keep considering the senator’s status.
“He (Pangilinan) doesn’t want anything for himself. He was able to resist temptations,” Robredo said.
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