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Robredo, 5 others among 1Sambayan’s top choices for president, VP for 2022



Deputy Speakers Vilma Santos-Recto and Eddie Villanueva, as well as lawyer Chel Diokno, have been included in the list of potential presidential bets of opposition coalition 1Sambayan for the 2022 elections.

The three personalities joined Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Grace Poe, and former lawmaker Antonio Trillanes IV, who had previously been floated as possible standard bearers of the coalition.

1Sambayan unveiled its six leading nominees on Saturday, coinciding with the 123rd year of the declaration of Philippine independence.

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, one of the group’s convenors, said the aforementioned personalities “agreed to be part of the field of nominees.”

“They have participated in dialogues with 1Sambayan, and all have agreed to unite under one presidential candidate,” Del Rosario said during the launch.

More nominees for president and vice president may be added to the list in the coming months, he added.

The nominees would undergo a selection process, including interviews and surveys, to enable 1Sambayan convenors choose the standard bearer of the opposition coalition.

The convenors said they would review the candidates’ track record, policy platform, and winnability.

“From these choices, 1Sambayan, the coalition members, and eventually, the public can have a say on who they believe will usher the changes they hope for,” Del Rosario said.

After the announcement, however, Diokno, Poe and Santos-Recto said they were not interested in running for the government’s highest post.

In a statement, Poe said while she appreciated her nomination as president, she did not intend to run for such position in the next elections.

“Sa abot ng aking makakaya bilang senador, nais kong pagtuunan ng atensyon ang pag-ahon ng ating mga kababayan mula sa pandemyang ito,” she said.

Santos-Recto, meanwhile, said she still has “no plans” for next year’s elections.

“I am focused on assisting Lipa City in its vaccination program and in providing assistance to families who need it most. Furthermore, I have my legislative duties to attend to,” she said.

For Diokno, while he was “honored” to be nominated by 1Sambayan even if he “never aspired” for the presidency or the vice presidency, he wanted to focus on his the Free Legal Helpdesk, an initiative he had launched to support the poor who need legal assistance.

Robredo and Trillanes, in separate statements, also conveyed their gratitude to 1Sambayan’s convenors.


Binay, Moreno out

Missing from 1Sambayan’s new list were Senator Nancy Binay and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who had previously been cited as possible presidential candidates of the opposition coalition.

Former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, another 1Sambayan convenor, explained that Binay and Moreno had asked the coalition to exclude their names from the list of nominees.

Binay had said that she does not want to seek higher office in 2022, while Moreno emphasized the need to focus on pandemic response instead of politics.

1Sambayan coalition aims to challenge the administration’s bets in the next elections by forming a single slate of “more competent” contenders for the presidency, vice presidency, and the Senate.

The group claimed it was represented by democratic forces across the political spectrum, and that coalition members have pledged to set aside their differences and honor the “single lineup” that would be formed by the convenors.

At least 40 groups have joined the coalition, including political parties United Nationalist Alliance and Aksyon Demokratiko, said former Education Secretary Armin Luistro, also among the convenors of 1Sambayan.

Akbayan Citizens Action Party, Kapamilya Voting Bloc, San Beda Human Rights Group, Mamamayang Liberal, and LGBTQ+ group Ladlad were also among the member organizations of 1Sambayan.

Since its launch last March, the coalition has organized town hall meetings and established chapters here and abroad in an effort to gain public support.

On the other hand, the administration has yet to name its potential standard-bearer in the 2022 elections. But as early as February, members of the ruling PDP-Laban have been urging President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president.