Press Release
August 3, 2021

Drilon says Robredo not giving up on presidential run
"If the Vice President won with one percent in 2016, she has a better chance with 6 to 8 percent today," says the veteran politician

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon refuted what he called a "totally wrong and baseless" assessment that Vice President Leni Robredo has given up a possible candidacy as the opposition's standard bearer in the 2022 presidential election.

"At this point, the Vice President is still looking at a possible presidential run next year. That assessment that she has given up a possible presidential bid is totally without basis and unfounded," Drilon said during an interview with Senate media on Tuesday.

The Liberal Party vice chairman said that Robredo is determined to form a broader coalition that can defeat the heavy machinery of the anointed candidate of the Duterte administration.

The objective is to have the strongest candidate against the administration, according to Drilon, but, "Needless to say, all these efforts to look for a strongest opposition candidate includes the Vice President."

"To me, the objective number one is to make sure that those who are not with the administration must have a unified front in 2022," he pointed out.

"That is why she has been conducting these meetings," he noted.

"If she becomes the most viable candidate, she will ask the others to come around and support her because the objective is to have a united front," Drilon added.

Drilon, who successfully ran in four elections and topped the 2016 senatorial race, admitted that it would be extremely difficult to present the Liberal Party, or any party, as an alternative to this administration if they are not united.

"We must be able to have a bigger base so that we can effectively present an alternative to our people. I think we should have a big tent wherein we can attract all sectors who believe that the next administration should not be identified with the present administration," the veteran senator said.

"A broader coalition is necessary," he stressed.

Drilon said he does not see any reason why the Vice President should not talk to Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon, who Drilon said "have done their share in maintaining their principles."

Drilon also believes that Robredo has a chance of winning the 2022 elections.

"Remember that in 2015 when Robredo became a vice presidential candidate, what support did she have in surveys? She was 1 percent in the surveys. Let us not forget that. She decided to run for vice president with one percent and she beat former Senator BongBong Marcos," Drilon recalled.

"Today, she has anywhere from 6 to 8 percent. She has a better chance today than she had in 2016. If she won with one percent at that time, she has a better chance with 6 to 8 percent today. It is a question of her being able to decide as soon as possible," Drilon said.

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