Robredo files COC for president sans VP bet, vows ‘fight’


WITHOUT any political party or a running mate, Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) on Thursday to formalize her presidential bid in the 2022 polls.

In a surprise move, Robredo chose not to affiliate herself with the Liberal Party, which helped in her campaign in the 2016 elections.

Instead, she decided to run as an independent candidate wearing a blue blouse with a pink ribbon—her new symbol for her upcoming 2022 campaign.

She was not clad in yellow, just like when she ran for vice president in 2016. The 53-year-old lawyer was accompanied by her daughters Aika and Tricia.

After filing her COC at around 3:30 p.m. at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent, Robredo immediately left the venue without giving a press conference as what most presidential aspirants did.

Robredo was not accompanied by any vice presidential candidate.

Earlier on Thursday, Robredo declared she is running for president in 2022, in a race that pits her anew with her 2016 rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., but this time in a contest that also includes three other strong contenders.

Robredo announced her decision during a speech at her office in Quezon City.

“Buong-buo ang loob ko ngayon: Kailangan nating palayain ang sarili mula sa kasalukuyang situwasyon. Lalaban ako; lalaban tayo.  Inihahain ko ang aking sarili bilang kandidato sa pagkapangulo sa halalan ng 2022, [I am very confident now: we need to free ourselves from the current situation. I will fight. We will fight. I am offering myself as a candidate for president in the election of 2022].

“Ina akong nakikita ang pagdurusa ng minamahal kong bansa. Naniniwala akong ang pag-ibig hindi lang nasusukat sa pagtitiis kundi sa kahandaang lumaban, kahit gaano kahirap, para matapos na ang pagtitiis. Ang nagmamahal, kinakailangan ipaglaban ang minamahal,” [I am a mother who sees the suffering of my beloved country. I believe that love is not only measured by suffering, but rather, the readiness to fight, no matter how hard, to end suffering. Someone who loves should be ready to fight for who they love,” she added.

A coalition of the country’s major labor groups, the Alliance of Labor Leaders for Leni (ALL4Leni), committed to back her election campaign.

“She walked with us, with the workers, farmers and those in the laylayan ng lipunan [the margins of society] in the past several years,” ALL4Leni said in a statement.

Members of ALL4Leni include the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP), National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE), and the Unified Filipino Service Workers (UFSW).

Unity attempts

Earlier, Robredo was in talks with other presidential candidates Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Sen. Panfilo Lacson to find a “common ground.” But no agreement was reached between them.  Pacquiao, Moreno, and Lacson have already filed their COCs for president.

For his part, Marcos expressed confidence that he will beat Robredo in the 2022 national elections if it’s a head-to-head battle between them for the country’s highest post.

Marcos filed an electoral protest agaist Robredo before the Supreme Court but it was dismissed earlier this year.

Robredo, the 14th Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, was thrust into the national consciousness following the death in a plane crash  of her husband, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo. She stepped into the political arena in 2013, when she won as representative of the Third District of Camarines Sur.

Robredo led the crafting of Office of Vice President’s flagship anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay—an endeavor inspired by six key advocacy areas, including food security and nutrition, women empowerment, education, health care, rural development, and housing.

Image courtesy of Nonoy Lacza

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