Opposition groups vow to campaign for presidential bet Leni Robredo

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2021   •   334

MANILA, Philippines – Critics of the administration on Thursday vowed to come together to campaign for Vice President Leni Robredo following her announcement to seek the presidency in the 2022 elections.

In a statement, opposition coalition 1Sambayan urged “every peace and democracy-loving Filipino to unite and stand behind” Robredo.

“We in 1SAMBAYAN stand firm behind VP Leni in her presidential bid in the 2022 national elections. It is a light of hope that comes at a time of great uncertainty: a country on its knees due to a failed pandemic response, a struggling economy, and a backdrop of the loss of lives and livelihood for the Filipino people,” it said.

“[W]e are up against the vast resources of the Duterte administration. If we remain divided, we will stand to lose more than just the elections: we will lose our country, our democracy and integrity in public service,” it added.

“But knowing that we are fighting for the survival of the country fuels our vigilance and our resolve to push for the presidency of VP Leni in next year’s elections,” it further stated.

1Sambayan earlier endorsed Robredo as its presidential candidate for next year’s polls.

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also said that the Magdalo group will join Robredo in her fight to defeat the administration’s bet and in accomplishing her plans for the Philippines.

“Nagbubunyi ang Magdalo sa desisyon ni VP Leni na pamunuan ang tunay na oposisyon sa 2022 elections sa pagtakbo bilang Presidente,” he said.

“Makakasama nya ang Magdalo para maipanalo ang laban na ‘to, at tuluyang iahon ang ating bansa mula sa pagkasirang ginawa ni Duterte,” he added.

The Akbayan Party, which also endorsed Robredo’s candidacy expressed hope that she will be able to clinch the presidency to “stop the continuation of tyranny, win the fight against the pandemic and economic recession, and lead us back safely to the path of democracy.”

Robredo is expected to file her certificate of candidacy on Thursday afternoon.

She will be facing other presidential aspirants, including former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

COMELEC spox says vote buying a poll offense

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – Vote buying is an election offense “regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” Commission on Elections (COMELEC) spokesperson James Jimenez said Wednesday.

Jimenez made the remark a day after Vice President Leni Robredo said that Filipinos should take the money being offered to them but still vote for their preferred candidate.

Robredo, a presidential aspirant and standard bearer of the opposition for the 2022 elections, on Tuesday said that Filipinos who are offered money in exchange for their vote should accept the money but still vote according to their conscience.

While vote buying is illegal, she said that individuals engaging in such act is hard to apprehend as it is not done in public and the money could now be transferred electronically.

She made the response when asked on the issue of vote buying during a forum with a group of household service workers who support her election bid.

“Lagi kong sinasabi, tanggapin niyo kasi galing sa inyo ‘yan. Pera ‘yan ng taumbayan. Pero iboto mo kung ano ang nasa konsiyensiya mo,” Robredo said.

But Jimenez countered Robredo’s statement.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience. Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” he said.

“Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante,” he added.

Under Omnibus Election Code, vote buying and vote selling are considered as election offense.

VP Robredo files COC for 2022 presidential bid

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday formalized her bid for the presidency in the 2022 elections by filing her certificate of candidacy (COC) just hours after making a declaration to join the race.

Robredo filed her COC before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.

She was accompanied by her daughters, Tricia and Aika, and lawyer Romulo Macalintal.

Earlier in the day, Robredo announced her presidential bid, vowing to fight the country’s “old and rotten” political system and properly address issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Buong-buo ang loob ko ngayon. Kailangan nating palayain ang sarili mula sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon. Lalaban ako. Lalaban tayo. Inihahain ko ang aking sarili bilang kandidato sa pagkapangulo sa halalan ng 2022,” she said in her speech.

Prior to her announcement, Robredo was nominated by the opposition coalition, 1Sambayan as its presidential candidate.

Before she was elected vice president in 2016, she served as Camarines Sur representative to Congress.

Palace on VP Leni’s presidential bid: It’s her right

Maris Federez   •   October 7, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Following Vice President Leni Robredo’s declaration of joining the presidential race in the 2022 national elections, Malacañang said seeking any electoral post is her right as a Filipino.

“Well, it’s every right of a Filipino to stand for public office,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing Thursday.

Robredo file her certificate of candidacy (COC) on Thursday before the Commission on Elections.

The Vice President’s announcement happened two days after former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., declared that he is running for president in the coming elections.

Marcos and Robredo were known to be the closest rivals for the vice-presidential post in the 2016 elections. —/mbmf

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