Leni leans on Pinoys’ ‘overwhelming’ help

Not having enough money to bankroll a presidential campaign, Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said she is banking on the overwhelming support of the people.

“I wasn’t expecting the overwhelming reaction of the people. We thought that our existing supporters were just glad. (But) We saw something different. After the announcement, many have volunteered, and have used their own money. Many have come up with… ways they could help,” she said during her weekly radio program.

Robredo said she was reluctant at first to join the presidential race because she lacked the funds.

“We all know how hard it is because we do not have the machinery now, unlike in 2016. We do not have the much-needed resources for our campaign. We are not prepared,” she said.

“They (her opponents) have been spending a lot of money. We are having a hard time because we do not have the resources,” she added.

She said she was compelled to run because of the people’s support, citing “as if they are assuring me that my decision (to run) is right.

My only appeal is for them to sustain this. I hope to expand our network since this is the only thing that could fight fake news.”

Before deciding to run for president, Robredo said she was thinking of taking a break from politics or seeking a local post in 2022.

But the endorsement of opposition coalition 1Sambayan changed her mind.

She said she initially did not plan to run for the country’s top post, hoping instead to unite two potential candidates for president to increase the chances of preventing a repeat of a Marcos or Duterte administration.

“My plan was to either rest or run for a local position. That's why I exerted effort in the unification talks so I can just help national candidates and serve my hometown,” she said in Filipino.

“When 1Sambayan nominated me, that's what changed my mind to run.”

On the same program, Robredo introduced Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as her running mate for the 2022 elections.

She told her listeners that everyone knew Pangilinan as the senator, a former Cabinet member and a key opposition political figure.

“I want to introduce your personal side,” she told Pangilinan on the program. Pangilinan, she noticed, wore the same watch he did 10 years ago.

She also asked the senator about his experience as an organic farmer.

Pangilinan thanked Robredo for choosing him as his running mate.

Ninety-seven people filed certificates of candidacy for president with the Commission on Elections. The list will be thinned out with the removal of “nuisance” candidates or those who are not serious by the Comelec’s reckoning.

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