The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday rejected calls by presidential bet Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso for her to withdraw from the race.
“With three weeks to go before election day, we are at a time of great momentum for our People’s Campaign, and increasing clarity as regards which candidates can count on the people’s support when they enter voting booths on May 9,” Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said.
“From the start, it has been the prerogative of every candidate to continue till the end, the same as it is the choice of a candidate to disregard surveys, rally attendance, endorsements, or any other conventional measure of support. We wish every candidate who decides to push through to the end, only the best,” he added.
The Manila mayor called on Robredo to pull out from the presidential race, saying she ran only because she wanted to prevent the Marcos clan from returning to Malacañang.
But Gutierrez dismissed assertions “made through bluster and falsehood.”
“Who benefits from such theatrics? What is best for the Filipino people? Perhaps, silence would have had more depth; at the very least, it would exhibit less self-entitlement, fragility, and toxicity,” he said.
“We are thankful that the alignments have been made even clearer. And we remain focused on showing our people that a Robredo presidency will mean a victory for all Filipinos,” he said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who is running for re-election under Robredo’s slate, called the press conference of presidential candidates “a triumph of macho egos and a tragedy of political and common sense.”
Faced with the prospect of another Marcos capturing the presidency, she said the call for so-called unity among the candidates to finish the presidential race was myopic.
With 22 days left before the election, Hontiveros said she hoped that the presidential candidates will see the forest and not just the trees, and defend the nation’s interests far beyond their “oversized egos and fragile skins.”