CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo has looked beyond political parties in her senatorial slate for the 2022 national elections.
Robredo, who’s running for president, released on October 15 the list that makes up the 11 senatorial aspirants, short of one candidate.
“If you look at our lineup, only two or three are from the Liberal Party (LP). The rest belongs to eight or nine other parties,” she told reporters during her visit at a private school here where the vaccine program her office has initiated was conducted on October 16.
“We believe that it is time to discuss what we have in common. There should be a willingness to listen and sit down to come up with a decision,” the country’s second highest official added.
In Robredo’s senatorial slate are Teddy Baguilat Jr. (LP), Jejomar Binay (United Nationalist Alliance), Leila de Lima (LP), Jose Manuel Diokno (Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino), Francis Joseph Escudero (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan VNP Movement), Ana Theresia Hontiveros (Akbayan Party), Alex Lacson (Kapatiran Party), Antonio Trillanes IV (Magadlo), Joel Villanueva (Independent), and Jose Miguel Zubiri (Independent).
Robredo said the political party that the candidate is affiliated with doesn’t matter as long as they share her group’s goals and ideals.
“Our lineup is the most diverse. We actually look at what they can bring to the table. For instance, our guest candidates come from different parties, but we have worked with them in the past, in our advocacy for the poor,” she said.
This common factor, she added, is reason enough for the vice president’s group to accept non-LP candidates.
“Their political inclinations may have differed from ours, but we have proven that we can work with them,” Robredo said.
Although she was disappointed that her effort to reach out to some leaders from political groups didn’t produce the desired result, Robredo said she has since moved on and assured that she can still pursue her political run without the united opposition.
“Whatever is available and workable, we will operate on that spectrum, whoever is ready to unite, whoever is ready to help and coordinate. I won’t waste my time especially if I have given it a try,” she said.
Robredo has also clarified why former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, known as one of the staunchest opposition figures, was not included in the senatorial lineup.
“I couldn’t say that he was excluded as there is still one vacant slot,” she said, adding that her group has found the decision who to put on the 12th spot challenging as there were other nominees aside from Colmenares.
Robredo mentioned the name of lawyer Jose Sonny Matula, a labor leader, who is also vying for the 12th slot.
“We have a hard time because each of them went through a vetting process. We give consideration to the reasons why they are nominated.
There have been objections, but we take an inclusive stance,” Robredo said.
She said they have to make sure that the group has made the right decision on who to put on the 12th place.
In an interview, Colmenares said he “understood” why Robredo has not yet picked him for the senatorial list.