Ex-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has become the very first major politician to join the presidential derby.
Last week, Trillanes formally signified his intention to run for President, against the designated successor of President Duterte, in the 2022 elections.
He said he is willing to be the standard bearer of the opposition in the event Vice President Leni Robredo turn her back on this singular opportunity.
But Trillanes reiterated he would “wholeheartedly” back down from this if Robredo, who has been procrastinating for the longest time, finally decides to accept the mantle of the 1SAMBAYAN anti-Duterte coalition when it announces its candidates this July.
1SAMBAYAN is an opposition group formed in March 2021 meant to challenge the establishment, led by former Senior Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
The endgame is to arrive at a single slate of national candidates to fight the ticket to be fielded by the Dutterte administration in 2022.
Trillanes, who is an avowed political foe of Mr. Duterte, described the 2022 polls as “the most important elections after 1986” due to the existentialist threat the nation is facing from both internal as well as external factors.
“Truly, we will not survive another six years of a Duterte rule,” he was quoted in reports as saying.
He said there is an urgent need to craft new policy on foreign relations regarding the West Philippine Sea and China, the pandemic response, poverty alleviation, peace and order and economy recovery.
Malacanang meanwhile shrugged of Trillanes’ lofty ambitions of replacing Mr. Duterte, saying he is “free to dream” as it is the right of every Filipino to do so.
Photo: Angie de Silva/Rappler