"These things are very clear."
Last week, ex-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV anointed himself the presidential candidate of the political opposition in the 2022 elections. Trillanes added that Vice President Leonor Robredo has decided not to run for president anymore, and will run for governor of Camarines Sur instead.
Robredo, however, belied Trillanes’ announcement and said, “I haven’t changed my position yet since last year. I’m still open to all options and these options are either to run for president, run for governor, run for congressman, or not run at all, which is what my children want.”
From this recent development, two things are very clear.
First, Trillanes is a chronic liar.
Second, Robredo knows that she will lose if she runs for president next year and for that reason, she is eyeing a congressional or local government position.
Trillanes either found it unnecessary to discuss things with Robredo before he made his announcement, or he simply assumed that Robredo will not run for the presidency on account of what he sees as the sure defeat of Robredo at the ballot box. If Robredo were a very viable bet for president in 2022, it is doubtful if Trillanes would have had the audacity to push her around.
Trillanes was probably expecting all anti-administration personalities to rally behind him as the presidential candidate of the political opposition. It turned out that nobody took him seriously, as shown by lack of public and media enthusiasm about him.
Thus, Robredo can take solace from the knowledge that nobody in his right mind will take Trillanes’ announcement seriously.
Instead of making false announcements which underscore his penchant for lying, Trillanes should focus on explaining his role in compromising Philippine interests in the on-going maritime dispute between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea.
During the term of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, when China was still trying to secure a firm hold of shoals in the West Philippine Sea, Philippine and Chinese naval vessels reached a standoff over the Philippine-held Scarborough Shoal. For that reason, Aquino secretly sent Trillanes to China to engage in backdoor negotiations. Those negotiations supposedly resulted in an agreement that the two countries will withdraw their vessels from the disputed shoal.
It was reported that upon the advice of Trillanes, Aquino ordered Philippine ships to withdraw from the disputed shoal without even waiting for China to do the same. China, however, double-crossed the Philippines and retained its ships in the shoal. Thereafter, China began constructing artificial islands and garrisons in the area.
Today, the communist giant claims for itself what is under international law Philippine maritime territory.
Why did Aquino send Trillanes, a sitting senator at that time, to personally negotiate with China? Why wasn’t the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario sent instead? Why didn’t del Rosario protest his having been by-passed by Trlllanes?
By accepting his secret assignment to China, Trillanes confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt that he is and will always be a lackey of the unpopular Aquino. Thus, electing Trillanes to office is like installing Aquino in power all over again.
Let us now discuss Robredo.
Robredo has been making frequent visits to Camarines Sur lately. She and her siblings acquired a tract of land in Magarao, about eight kilometers from Naga City and are currently constructing a big house there. Robredo admits they bought the property because of its proximity to Naga.
Indeed, that house will make a very convenient campaign headquarters in a run for governor.
Robredo’s projects are superficial and they merely duplicate the functions of the Secretary of Social Welfare and Community Development. To all intents and purposes, Robredo has not done anything of significance to make herself a credible candidate for president in next year’s election.
Also, Robredo must explain her desire to continue living in a mansion in the plush district of New Manila in Quezon City, maintained by taxpayers’ money, despite the economic woes of many Filipinos brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Can’t Robredo afford to even rent a house for herself and her family while they are in Metro Manila?
Robredo is the only Vice President to live in a mansion at public expense. What kind of example is she showing, especially during these difficult times? For a mere presidential spare tire, Robredo sure spends a lot of public funds.
From the foregoing narration, it is obvious that Robredo has finally accepted that she will be soundly defeated if she runs for president next year. To stay in the public’s consciousness, however, Robredo intends to run for a congressional or provincial post in 2022.
Robredo’s line that she is still considering running for president is a lie. It is simply a way for Robredo to save face as she continues to remain irrelevant.