THE opposition Liberal Party (LP) is considering Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential candidate for the 2022 national elections.
“Siya ay mataas na opisyal ng partido at pinakamataas na elected official ng partido (Robredo is the highest official of the party and the highest-ranked elected official in the party) so she is also being considered,” LP President and Senator Kiko Pangilinan said in an online press briefing on Thursday, February 4.
Being the highest-ranked elected official in LP, Robredo serves as the party’s chairperson.
However, Pangilinan noted that Robredo hasn’t made a decision yet about running for the presidency.
“She herself said that she has no decision yet. Marami pang pwedeng mangyari (A lot of things may still happen),” he said.
Pangilinan also stressed that the party is focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the meantime, we just focus on how we can help address this pandemic and this crisis because, sa totoo lang ang pinakamatinding krisis sa ngayon, ay yung economic crisis, and health crisis (truthfully, the biggest crises today are the economic crisis and health crisis). So as public servants yan ang tinututukan namin ngayon (we are focused on that),” the senator said.
He admitted that the LP has not decided yet on who should be their candidates for next year’s elections.
“Hindi pa namin pinag-uusapan kung sino ang magiging kandidato. Wala pang nagde-decision sa amin tungkol diyan (We haven’t decided yet. We haven’t even discussed who are our candidates. We have yet to decide on that matter),” said Pangilinan.
“So nakatutok talaga, halimbawa si VP, sa problema sa COVID. Yun ang kanyang initiative, na matulunungan ang ating mga kababayan, sa usaping frontliners, usapin ng hanapbuhay, consumers, vendors (So what we’re focused on, like the VP, is the problems on COVID. That’s her initiative, to help our countrymen, look out for the frontliners, on livelihood, concerns of consumers, and vendors),” he added.
According to Pangilinan, COVID response takes precedence over political issues.
“I understand that there are some groups that are already discussing 2022. OK yun, let them start. Sa amin naman, I think 2022 is really about the voters. So tayo sa LP tuloy-tuloy lang ang ating recruitment sa baba, pagtulong sa komunidad para malampasan itong COVID (For us, I think ultimately, 2022 is really about the voters. So for us in the LP, we are continuing our recruitment in the grassroots, helping in our community to survive this COVID pandemic),” he said.
Pangilinan added, “Hopefully, if we are able to show a good performance then voters will remember that and will support us, so ‘yun ang ginagawa natin sa ngayon, tutukan itong COVID response as best we can at tulungan natin dahil ‘yun naman din ang concern ng ating mga kababayan at lalu na nga itong mga economic issue (so that’s what we’re doing now, focusing on the COVID response as best as we can and help since that’s the concern of our countrymen especially the economic issues). Ito muna ang harapin natin ngayon (We’ll tackle this first now), yung political issues can wait.”
In a separate statement, Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez maintained that Robredo’s priority is extending assistance to Filipinos amid the pandemic.
“VP Leni is currently focused on working to help our fellow Filipinos overcome the challenges of the pandemic and the long quarantine. This is the need of the moment and her priority right now. Everything else will be addressed at the proper time,” he said.