Update: Various sources have stated that Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan will be Robredo’s running mate in the 2022 elections.

After months of speculation and public clamor, Vice President Leni Robredo heeded the call to run for the presidency in the upcoming 2022 national elections.

This came a week after opposition coalition 1Sambayan’s lead convenor and retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato Carpio declared the incumbent vice president as their presidential nominee. 

Robredo acknowledged the coalition’s decision but initially held back in offering a conclusive stance on whether she would accept the nomination.

“Mulat tayo sa tungkulin natin, bilang pinuno at Pilipino, at taimtim na pagninilay at pagdarasal ang ginagawa natin. Sa mga susunod na araw, samahan ninyo akong magdasal pa, that our decision will be what is best for our country,” the Vice President said.

On Oct. 7, she finally made her decision known to the Filipino people—Leni Robredo will run for president in 2022.

In her live announcement, Robredo expressed her intent to move the country forward from its current state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.” Robredo said.

The Vice President offered a firm and resolute change in leadership to overcome some of the nation’s biggest problems in governance—corruption, incompetence, and apathy.

“Kung gusto nating tunay na makalaya sa ganitong situwasyon, hindi lang apelyido ng mga nasa poder ang dapat palitan; ‘yung korupsyon, ‘yung incompetence, ‘yung kawalan ng malasakit, kailangang palitan ng matino at mahusay na pamumuno,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, her running mate for the elections is yet to be named. 1Sambayan has given Robredo the liberty to choose her vice-presidential candidate. 

Meanwhile, her running mate for the elections is yet to be named. 1Sambayan has given Robredo the liberty to choose her vice-presidential candidate. 

Unified opposition in limbo

Robredo’s ‘later’ announcement compared to her rivals was caused by persistent efforts to unify the opposition slate amid several presidential bids launched.

Prior to Robredo’s formal declaration of intent, numerous organizations within the 1Sambayan coalition aired their concern on naming a presidential nominee amid ongoing unity talks.

Such groups cited how the endorsement solidifies 1Sambayan’s “sealed support for a particular candidate” whilst Robredo herself continues to engage in discussions to forge a unified opposition slate.

Meanwhile, prospective vice-presidential aspirant Antonio Trillanes IV, who also intended to run for president had Robredo declined the nomination, expressed his support for the Vice President and opened the possibility of being her running mate for the elections.

With three days left for aspirants to file their certificates of candidacy (COC), eight-division boxing champion and senator Manny Pacquiao filed his COC for the presidency under the Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI) with former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza.

Aksyon Demokratiko’s presidential bet, incumbent Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, filed his COC with former senatorial candidate and doctor-vlogger Willie Ong.

Bongbong Marcos Jr.–son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos–who lost to Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race, announced his 2022 presidential bid and filed his COC under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.

Marcos Jr. had chosen President Rodrigo Duterte as his preferred vice-presidential candidate but was forced to recalibrate his plans after the president announced his retirement from politics. DZUP

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