FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao
With less than a week before the filing of candidacies for national posts in next year’s election, Vice President Leni Robredo should now decide to run for president. We believe that just like democracy icon Cory Aquino, Robredo is destined to become president no matter what her critics are saying against her.
Both Cory and Leni have been widowed young when their husbands died under different circumstances; Ninoy martyred by the ruthless Marcos dictatorship and Jesse Robredo in a plane crash. In fact, Leni is more qualified than Cory to seek the presidency being a lawyer and a former congressman.
Robredo should now focus on presenting to the public her platform of governance or what she can do if she becomes president. He should forget about forging alliances with astute politicians who are out to outwit her for their own selfish interests.
I am referring here to the erstwhile “unity formula” proposed to her by Sen. Panfilo Lacson. In that weird scheme, Lacson proposed that both of them file their candidacies but one of them would withdraw if the polls would show that he or she is lagging in the polls. Lacson very well knew that Robredo was at the tail-end of surveys, so he would surely be the winning candidate.
But granting that Robredo would outshine Lacson in the surveys, would Lacson give way to her for the sake of unity? Certainly not, because Lacson has already announced that he, with Vicente Sotto III as his running mate, would run “come hell or high water.”
Robredo should also forget about a united opposition ticket as envisioned by the so-called 1Sambayan which was founded by former allies of the late Noynoy Aquino.
The Liberal Party, the party founded by Manuel Roxas, grandfather of former Senator Mar Roxas, is the only political party whose machinery up to the grassroots level has remained intact. LP bigwigs such as Senator Franklin Drilon and Kiko Pangilinan and, of course Mar Roxas, should now give Robredo their full support.
If she runs, the Vice President should shed off her goody-goody or demure image and become more forceful in her pronouncements. She should do away with her stock openers “para sa akin” or “kung ako ang tanongin” which only makes her appear as indecisive.
She should be ferocious in her attacks not just against the administration but also against other candidates some of whom appear to be holier-than-thou but who have skeletons in their closet. At least the Vice President’s life is an open book and she has never been associated with shenanigans in her political and private life.
Robredo should also now scout for her running mate. There had been reports that talks are ongoing for Manila Mayor Isko Domagoso to be her vice presidential candidate. A Robredo-Domagoso tandem would be formidable. The only problem is that Isko is titillated with his own run for the presidency after only one term as Manila mayor. Too ambitious, no?
Now that Manny Pacquiao has announced his candidacy, Robredo should also forget about forging an alliance with him.
Aside from Pacquiao, those who have announced their candidacy are Sen. Bong Go with Mr. Duterte as his running mate; former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and, of course, Lacson. Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos might also run. The more candidates running, the more chances for Robredo to win the race.