Published June 6, 2021, ani
by Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent remark that she is still open to run as president next year is a “welcome development,” opposition coalition 1Sambayan said on Sunday, June 6.
As this developed, 1Sambayan convenor and lawyer Howard Calleja said during an interview on DZMM TeleRadyo that the coalition’s process for choosing its nominee will still be “transparent.”
“Masayang development ito. Always welcome naman ang pagsabi ni Vice President Leni na bukas ang option niya at gusto niya isa at unified ang opposition (This is a good development. We always welcome Vice President Leni’s remark that she’s open to running and that she wants a unified opposition).”
1Sambayan had said it is highly considering the nomination of Robredo as the opposition’s standard-bearer. Aside from the vice president, Senator Grace Poe, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno are also being considered.
Calleja maintained that the coalition is “inclusive,” so it is open to talk with Senators Manny Pacquiao, Panfilo Lacson, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
“As we start with being inclusive, very important is to unify the country again, to have the Filipino people together…hindi lang sa eleksyon (not only in the election) but more importantly into progress and development for everyone,” he said.
“Open din naman kami (We’re open). Sabi ko nga (As I said), as long as they fall within initial vetting…then we leave it to the people and to the entire country including whatever characteristics or data sets we need,” Calleja added.
After former Camarines Sur 1st District Representative Rolando Andaya Jr. claimed that Robredo is set to run as governor of their home province, the vice president posted a short statement on her Facebook page saying that she remains open to run as president.
However, she also did not rule out the possibility of running for a gubernatorial post in Camarines Sur.
Her spokesman Barry Gutierrez said in a recent interview on One News, that although Robredo respects the process of 1Sambayan, she also has her own process to go through.
“Respecting the process simply means that she understands the need for the opposition to unite around a common candidate. She thinks that the 1Sambayan process is a good venue for actually attempting to reach this particular unity,” he explained.
On Sunday, Robredo said over radio station dzXL that she wants to contribute to making sure there is a united opposition to go against the administration’s bets next year.
Calleja said 1Sambayan is awaiting the decision of two more possible candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, adding that they will not prioritize anyone.
“Wala pong right of first refusal or equity of the incumbent (There’s no right of first refusal or equity of the incumbent),” he added.