Vice President Leni Robredo still considers a possible presidential bid in 2022, contrary to speculations that she has been preparing to run for governor of Camarines Sur, her camp said Wednesday.
Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, refuted former senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s claim that the vice president has decided to seek a gubernatorial run in her home province.
“She has not made a decision regarding the 2022 elections, and there is absolutely no truth to the claim that she is making ‘preparations’ to run for Governor of Camarines Sur,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“She remains open to all options, including a possible candidacy for President, and at the appropriate time, she will personally convey her decision on this matter,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Trillanes said he is presenting himself as the possible standard-bearer of the opposition coalition 1Sambayan if Robredo will not run for president.
In a Facebook post, Trillanes asked 1Sambayan convenors to change his status from being an “alternate” presidential bet to Robredo to “being a principal candidate” for the government’s top post.
The former lawmaker, who is among the most vocal critics of the administration, said his announcement is based on the assumption that Robredo will run for governor of Camarines Sur in the 2022 elections.
“Just to further stress this point, in the event that VP Leni definitively decides to run for President before 1Sambayan picks its nominees in July, I would wholeheartedly step aside and withdraw my own candidacy in her favor,” he said.
“But until then, we would work on the assumption that VP Leni would run for governor of CamSur and, thus, we could now start our own preparations focusing on the development of policy prescriptions to solve the different problems of our country,” Trillanes added.
Robredo is the highest-ranking government official from the Liberal Party, and considered as the figurehead of the opposition.
In November, she said gunning for the presidency was “always a possibility,” though she preferred a local post.
Robredo was shortlisted by 1Sambayan as a possible standard-bearer of the opposition, along with senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay and Manila mayor Isko Moreno.
1Sambayan, which was launched in March, counts among its members the Magdalo party-list and the progressive Makabayan bloc.
It aims to challenge the administration’s bets in the next elections by forming a single slate of “more competent” contenders for presidency, vice presidency, and the Senate.
The group has vowed to screen candidates from “democratic forces” across the Philippine political spectrum to form the opposition slate.
Among its convenors are retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and ex-foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario.