MANILA – It is within Vice President Leni Robredo’s right to seek any electoral post, Malacañang said on Thursday, after the opposition leader said she would join the presidential race.
“Well, it’s every right of a Filipino to stand for public office,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing when asked to comment on Robredo’s announcement to run for president in the 2022 national and local elections.
Robredo is expected to file her certificate of candidacy (COC) before the Commission on Elections at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
She made the announcement just two days after former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Robredo’s closest rival in the 2016 vice presidential election, said he is running for president in next year’s polls.
This would mark the second time that Robredo would face Marcos for an elective post.
Robredo emerged as victor against Marcos by a margin of 263,473 votes in 2016. Marcos contested the results, but his electoral protest was unanimously junked by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Roque said he had no personal knowledge about the initial plan of Marcos for the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte as vice presidential bet in the 2022 polls.
“I cannot speak for former Senator Bongbong Marcos. He may have wanted the President [Duterte] to become his running mate, but I have no information if this was relayed to the President and if the President ever considered it,” Roque said.
In an interview with reporters after he filed his certificate of candidacy in Pasay City on Wednesday, Marcos said he wanted to “adopt” Duterte to be his running mate because they came from different political parties.
“As of now, no one has filed for vice president under PFP. To be very candid with you, the reason why is that the original plan was for us to adopt PRRD [Duterte] for our vice presidential candidate,” Marcos said.
Marcos’ plan did not push through because Duterte withdrew his initial plan to run as vice president and announced his retirement from public service when his term ends in June 2022.
He, however, said he is open to a possible “Bongbong-Bong” tandem with vice presidential aspirant, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
On Saturday, Duterte announced that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, will pair with Go for the two top government posts in the 2022 polls.
“Sara-Go na ‘yan (It’s already Sara-Go [in the 2022 national elections]),” Duterte said in a video uploaded on the Facebook page of actress Vivian Velez.
He made this declaration even after Sara filed her COC to run for her third term as mayor of Davao City.
Allies of the President remain optimistic that Sara will eventually decide to run for the country’s top post come 2022. (PNA)