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Leni Has Accepted Nomination To Be 1Sambayan’s Presidential Bet – Convenor

Leni Has Accepted Nomination To Be 1Sambayan’s Presidential Bet – Convenor
Vice President Leni Robredo
A co-convenor of 1Sambayan announced on Saturday, Oct. 2, that Vice President Leni Robredo has accepted the political coalition’s nomination for her to be their presidential candidate in the May 2022 elections.

No official announcement has yet been made by the Office of the Vice President, but former education secretary Bro. Armin Luistro said Robredo would make public her presidential bid before the last day of the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) on Oct. 8.

The 1Sambayan convenor added Robredo would file her COC for president on Oct. 5, the same date she filed her candidacy for vice president in 2016.

“I don’t know why this date is important to her,” Luistro said. “Word is spreading that it (filing of candidacy for president) might be on Oct. 5, but I’m sure that before Oct. 8 she’d make it public.”

Asked about the certainty of Robredo accepting 1Sambayan’s endorsement, Luistro said: “For sure, because if we had any doubt, I think 1Sambayan would not have pushed to put her name out.”

He said they are banking on the commitment of Robredo when she was nominated as the standard-bearer of the coalition and expressed confidence that she would not disappoint them.

“As I’ve been telling many, of all the things said by VP Leni, none of them were broken commitments and so I said it’s better to trust the word of a lady than a gentleman’s promise,” Luistro said.

On Robredo’s transferring her polling records from her original registration in Naga City to her hometown of Magarao amid the option for her to run for governor of Camarines Sur, Luistro said that talk does not worry 1Sambayan.

He said it could be read as a “sentimental journey” for Robredo to return to her roots as she prepares for the bigger plan of running in the presidential elections.

Luistro said he believes that once the Vice President files her COC, she would gain more votes from the youth, a sector that has been clamoring for a change in leadership, and the Catholic Church, which had been scored and scorned by President Duterte.

Asked if they have already chosen Robredo’s potential running mate, Luistro said that former senator Antonio Trillanes IV is 1Sambayan’s top choice, along with former senator Bam Aquino, Sen. Grace Poe, Partido Reporma’s vice presidential bet Senate President Tito Sotto and three others.

Luistro explained that they could not yet announce their official vice presidential candidate as they still have to consult with Robredo about it to ensure that her potential running mate and senatorial slate bear the same platform.

He added that 1Sambayan remains hopeful they could come up with a unified opposition.

‘Premature endorsement’

However, eight groups within 1Sambayan believe that endorsing Robredo for president was premature and could hinder efforts to unify possible candidates to represent all opposition forces.

While they recognize that Robredo is a very competent and principled leader who is worthy of the coalition’s support, the groups noted that the Vice President has not declared her intent to run for president due to ongoing efforts to forge a unified slate.

“We are concerned that 1Sambayan’s role in contributing to unification will be hampered by the perception that it has sealed support for a particular candidate,” read the joint statement.

“In a situation that remains very fluid, all efforts at forging a single unified slate should be exhausted and all options should remain open,” it added.

The statement was signed by Kilusang Mayo Uno, Tanggol Magsasaka, National Union of Students of the Philippines, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Promotion of Church People’s Response, Health Alliance for Democracy and Katribu.

They recommended that it would be best for 1Sambayan to make a decision of endorsement after the period of filing of candidacy because by then, there would be a clearer picture of who are running.

“This will also allow all unification efforts, including VP Robredo’s, to proceed unhampered,” the groups said.

“Right now it is important for 1Sambayan to fulfill its original mandate of exerting all efforts to unite the forces that can defeat Duterte and Marcos. We remain committed to this objec-tive,” they added.

1Sambayan – which is composed of 123 organizations with around three million members – has yet to respond to the joint statement of the eight groups.

But in an earlier interview, its lead convenor former Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio confirmed that there were members who said they were not ready to vote yet on who to endorse.

The majority, however, resolved to proceed to a vote in order for them to make an endorsement before the start of the filing period last Friday.

“At the end of the day, we have to make our decision because we will be left behind. We made that agreement beforehand that we will make a decision before Sept. 30 and we followed it,” said Carpio.

“We are a democratic group, we follow the rule of the majority so we just put it to a vote,” he added.

The former magistrate said Robredo obtained an “overwhelming majority” support from the convenors, with some abstentions and one vote for Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. – With Janvic Mateo