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Leni Robredo running for president

Vice President Leni Robredo, after days of intense discernment, announced she will run for president in next year’s elections. She filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) the same day she made the announcement, October 7, the penultimate day for filing of COCs.

She is running under the opposition coalition 1Sambayan.

After 1Sambayan’s official endorsement as its presidential candidate, Robredo said her decision was primarily based on her desire to stop the Marcoses from returning to power and to prevent another brand of governance similar to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Buong-buo ang loob ko ngayon: Kailangan nating palayain ang sarili mula sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon. Lalaban ako, lalaban tayo … inihahain ko ang aking sarili bilang kandidato sa pagkapangulo sa halalan ng 2022,” Robredo said.

Robredo, regarded as the de facto leader of the opposition, cited the prevailing “old” and “rotten” politics, warning that no change can happen should the same people behind this kind of governance win in next year’s polls.

The vice president acknowledged that she does not have a strong political machinery unlike her opponents. But she is undeterred as she called on her supporters to go beyond their usual circles and expand their ranks.

Former Senator Bam Aquino has been tapped by Robredo to be his campaign manager. Aquino shelved his bid for a return to the Senate in 2022 to help Robredo.

Prior to her COC filing, Robredo talked to other possible presidential candidates, including Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao. However, the three had filed their own COCs for their respective presidential bids.

The announcement of her presidential bid comes two days after former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., filed his COC for president.

This will be the third time Robredo will face Marcos in a political contest. The first time they faced off was during the 2016 vice presidential race, where Robredo emerged victor. Robredo won over Marcos again in the subsequent electoral protest lodged by the dictator’s son, which was unanimously junked by the Supreme Court.

Shortly after Robredo’s announcement, 1Sambayan issued a statement, “We in 1SAMBAYAN stand firm behind VP Leni in her presidential bid in the 2022 national elections.”

“The fight to regain our country’s democracy and integrity in governance starts now, and it will be an uphill battle,” it added.

1Sambayan urged its supporters to stand united to “retain the country, democracy and integrity in public service.”

“It is a light of hope that comes at a time of great uncertainty: a country on its knees due to a failed pandemic response, a struggling economy, and a backdrop of the loss of lives and livelihood for the Filipino people.”

1Sambayan and Robredo launched parallel negotiations with non-administration political players in the hopes of forging unity and building a single ticket that will go head-to-head with Duterte’s anointed candidates

Robredo said she made it clear that she could give way, while some offered her to be their candidate and others offered her a position in their administration should they win.

“Ang tugon ko, hindi ito tungkol sa posisyon; hindi tayo nakikipag-usap para makipagtransaksyon. Ang pinakamahalaga, magkaisa kami—sa prinsipyo, sa pangarap para sa bansa, at sa landas na dapat tahakin tungo sa katuparan ng mga ito,” Robredo said.

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