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‘We stand on different grounds’ ‘We’re the real opposition,’ says Robredo on splitting votes with Isko Moreno

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu – Reporter / INQUIRER.net / October 08, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo is no longer concerned that she and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno would split the opposition vote in the 2022 presidential race, saying her group has always been the “real opposition” even from the start.

Robredo was asked about possibly getting low votes due to the sheer number of candidates for the upcoming polls, to which she admitted being concerned initially.

But then she said that since they were standing on different grounds, they would also have different backgrounds and support bases — which for Robredo, is the opposition side.

“Alam mo to be very honest about it, ‘yon ‘yong una kong paniniwala.  But I had a number of talks with a lot of them, and ‘yong na-realize ko, marami kasi kaming points na hindi kami aligned, na ito ‘yong mga basic na paniniwala, na mahirap i-pilit ‘yong unity kung sa mga basic na prinsipyo hindi kayo nagkakaisa,” she said during her briefing on Friday.

“So ‘yong sa akin, hindi na ako gano’n ka-concern ngayon than when I was first starting, kasi lumalabas naman kasi ngayon kami talaga ‘yong oposisyon, wala namang lumalabas na kapareho namin in the sense na mula umpisa nakipaglaban talaga,” she added.

Asked if she thought this would be the same scenario between her and Moreno, she said that the two of them stand on different grounds.

Robredo then revealed that there were key contradicting points between the two of them, which eventually led to the failure of the unity talks.

“I don’t believe so. After all the talks that we did, ang paniniwala ko iba ‘yong base namin, ‘yong sa akin — para sa akin klaro kung saan ako naka-posisyon, ito ‘yong paniniwala ko about governance, ito ‘yong paniniwala ko about ‘yong aspiration ko para sa bansa, ito ‘yong paniniwala ko na papaano ko dadalhin ‘yong bansa papunta do’n sa aspiration na ‘yon,” Robredo said.

“And during sa talks and even sa mga pronouncements, meron kaming basic differences pagdating doon.  So I don’t think pareho ‘yong aming voting bloc,” she added.

When pressed to discuss what were the talking points between him and Moreno, Robredo declined out of respect for the candidates she approached.

Despite the talks failing, she maintained that she has great respect for the people she talked with, noting that she would have not invited them to discuss if she did not respect them.

“Ayaw kong pag-usapan ‘yong detalye ng unity talks in deference to them.  Ako I have great respect for all the people I’ve talked to, kasi kung wala naman hindi ko naman sila pupuntahan. Pero sa akin I think hindi rin tama na binibigay ko ‘yong detalye no’ng aming mga usapan,” she explained.

Robredo on Thursday announced her candidacy for president, ending months of speculations on whether she would run.

Aside from Moreno, Robredo’s decision to run for presidency will pit her against former senator Bongbong Marcos, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and labor leader Leody de Guzman.

She had earlier engaged in so-called “unity talks” with other candidates to ensure a solid vote against President Rodrigo Duterte’s “anointed one,” and the return of the Marcos family to Malacañang.

After declaring her intention to run, the hashtag #WithdrawIsko trended on microblogging site Twitter, as opposition supporters urged the two of them to run together.

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