Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said she is looking at deciding on her Eleksyon 2022 bid by September or October, days before the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“Sa decision-making, ang deadline ko [ay] October 8. Kung kaya mag-desisyon by September, magdedesisyon by September. ‘Pag nag-file ako, ‘di ako magwi-withdraw,” Robredo said in her weekly radio program.

(For decision-making, my deadline is on October 8. If I can decide by September, then I’ll decide by September. If I filed [my COC], I will not withdraw.)

The poll body had scheduled the filing of COCs from October 1 to 8, 2021 for Eleksyon 2022. 

When pressed again on when she will make her final decision for next year’s polls, she said she will focus more on their pandemic efforts as COVID-19 cases continue to spike.

On Saturday alone, the Philippines reported 11,021 new COVID-19 cases, the highest since April when the country recorded a dramatic rise in coronavirus infections.

“Dahil sa surge, mahihinto ang efforts kaya kailangan mag-focus tayo dito. ‘Yung opisina namin tuloy-tuloy ang initiatives para makatulong sa vaccination, telemedicine, emergency services, pagpapakain sa community,” said Robredo, adding that they have been conducting talks on elections since June. 

(Because of the surge, we will stop our efforts for elections since we will need to focus here [COVID-19 pandemic]. Our office continues its initiatives to help in vaccination, telemedicine, emergency services, and feeding the community.)

“Tutukan ko muna. Sana in two weeks maganda na ulit ang numbers para maglaan ng oras sa 2022 elections,” she added.

(I wish to focus more on this pandemic effort. Hopefully after two weeks we get more encouraging numbers so we can give more time for the 2022 elections.)

‘I don’t want to lead on Filipinos’

Lacson earlier said Robredo was not sold to the idea of unification because he wanted to run for President, which is a post that Robredo is also considering. 

Robredo on Sunday confirmed that she resisted Senator Panfilo Lacson’s unification formula in Eleksyon 2022 because she wanted to ensure that she is certain about her election bid.

She did not go into the details but she said Lacson proposed that they will file COC but contenders with the least numbers of supporters will have to withdraw. 

“Kailangan ko bigyan ng konteksto sa proposal. Ang proposal, kami mag-uusap-usap, mag-file kami lahat ng certificate of candidacy, tapos mag-agree kami ng certain na titingnan namin kung sino pinakamalakas sa survey, tapos all the rest magwi-withdraw. Susuportahan namin best contenders based on numbers,” Robredo explained, adding that she was forced to reveal this due to Lacson’s earlier interviews with the media.

(I will give context to the proposal. The proposal was we will file COC then we will agree that whoever has the highest number in surveys [will be the opposition candidate], then the rest will withdraw. We will support best contenders based on numbers.)

“Sa akin simple ‘yung dahilan ko sa pagtutol sa proposal. Kailangan tuloy ang laban. Kapag nag-file ako, kailangan ko ituloy ang laban. ‘Di ko kailangan umatras kasi pinresenta ko na sa publiko e. ‘Yun ang reason kung bakit ‘di ako agreeable sa proposal,” she added.

(For me, the reason is simple as to why I denied the proposal. The fight has to continue. When I file [my COC], I need to continue the fight. I must not pull out at the last minute because I already presented myself to the public. That is the reason why I was not agreeable to the proposal.)

Nevertheless, Robredo said she will not lose her hope as they will still find other “formulas” for unification.

Lacson previously said he will hold talks with Robredo on their plans to field common candidates against the administration. —KG, GMA News