The opposition coalition 1Sambayan yesterday bared its six nominees for president and vice-president for the 2022 polls, but this early, two of the possible candidates have already turned down the offer.
Coalition convenor and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the following are the group’s nominees for the two highest positions in the upcoming polls: Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Grace Poe, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Recto, CIBAC party-list Rep. Eduardo Villanueva and lawyer Chel Diokno While she has yet to make a decision on her 2022 bid, Robredo cited the need for a leader who will be able to identify the “root cause” of the complex problems besetting the country as she thanked the coalition for considering them as possible opposition standard bearers.
“I believe the solution to our problems is not just one person but all of us. The first step is to identify the root cause of our problems. Filipinos have become frustrated for the longest time, and some have used this frustration to sow division. Bayanihan is key to whatever response,” the Vice President said.
Poe and Santos-Recto, however, said they have no plans of seeking the presidency in next year’s elections.
“I am grateful for the continued trust of our countrymen but I have no plans to run for president in the coming election,” Poe said in a statement released minutes after the announcement.
“To the best of my ability as a senator, I want to focus on the recovery of our countrymen from this pandemic,” she added.
Poe ran for president in the May 2016 elections but lost to then Davao City mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte.
Santos-Recto, who represents Batangas’ sixth district, said she has no political plans for 2022.
“I sincerely thank 1Sambayan for considering me. I have no plans for 2022. I am focused on assisting Lipa City in its vaccination program and in providing assistance to families who need it most. Furthermore, I have my legislative duties to attend to,” she said.
Sen. Joel Villanueva, for his part, said he believes his father – the representative of the CIBAC party-list and evangelist – will decline the offer due to the recent tragedies in their family.
“I can’t speak for my dad but obviously we are not interested in embarking on a journey to the presidency after the tragedy that the family has gone through the past year,” the younger Villanueva said.
Bro. Eddie’s wife, Dory, passed away in March last year. Barely three months later, his eldest daughter, Bocaue Mayor Eleanor Villanueva, also passed away.
Diokno said he was very honored by the nomination even if he never aspired for the position.
“Right now, I am focused on my Free Legal Helpdesk, and I hope to serve our country, especially the youth and the ordinary Filipino, in justice, accountability, and relief from the pandemic,” he said in a tweet.
Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson said he turned down 1Sambayan’s nomination due to his “personal and political convictions.”
Lacson cited being the author of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which was challenged by several of the coalition’s convenors before the Supreme Court.
Trillanes, on the other hand, underscored the need for pro-democracy forces to win in next year’s polls.
“Our country’s survival depends on this. And we believe that the one vehicle for this success is the 1Sambayan coalition.
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