Robredo in talks with Pacquiao for 2022 elections

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Robredo in talks with Pacquiao for 2022 elections
Composite photo shows Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Office of the Vice President / Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo revealed Tuesday that she has also engaged in “exploratory talks” with Sen. Manny Pacquiao on the 2022 elections as part of her efforts to unite people from different sides of the political fence.

“Pinaguusapan pa lang namin yung mga pakiramdam namin about the elections at ano ba ‘yung stand namin about this. Mga ganoon lang naman ‘yung tinatanong ko, wala pang pinaguusapan kung sino susuportahan,” Robredo told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

(We are just talking about how we feel about and what’s our stand on the elections. Those are my questions, we haven’t discussed yet who we would support.)

Robredo said she has spoken to Pacquiao twice before he left for the United States to train for his match with American boxer Errol Spence Jr. and would want to speak to the senator again once he returns to the country.

Pacquiao is strongly rumored to run for president despite having been ousted as president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino—Lakas ng Bayan by the faction led by Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi.

A legal battle is expected to ensue between the Pacquiao and Cusi wings of PDP-Laban as both sides claim to be the legitimate ruling party.

Speaking to everyone

Robredo has so far admitted to speaking with Pacquiao, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, and Sens. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Richard “Dick” Gordon. Lacson and Sotto are running together as president and vice president, respectively, while Gordon said he is eyeing the presidency.

The vice president said she has “exerted every effort to reach out to almost everyone already,” but opted not to talk about it as the other parties may not be comfortable about it being publicized.

Robredo, the de facto leader of the opposition, has been banking on unifying various political forces to mount a formidable campaign against the bets of President Rodrigo Duterte, stressing that the country could not afford another six years of the Duterte brand of governance.

“It’s a very important elections. We should really give unity a chance because too much is at stake. Kailangan maging bukas tayo, makipagkaisa sa mga taong maaring iba ang pinanggalingan, pero ang gusto rin ay pagbabago sa bayan,” Robredo said.

(It’s a very important elections. We should really give unity a chance because too much is at stake. We need to be open, unite with other people who might come from different backgrounds, but also want change in our country.)

Talks between Robredo and the Lacson-Sotto tandem, however, have reached a stalemate, as the vice president rejected the two senators’ proposal for them to file their candidacies in October and then withdraw depending on who emerges as a stronger candidate in survey results.

But Robredo said that their talks will continue regardless of her rejection of the duo’s “unification formula.”







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