By Lance Arevada


After months of a contentious selection process, opposition coalition group 1Sambayan formally endorsed Vice President Leni Robredo as their presidential candidate for the 2022 Elections in a bid to unite all forces and groups against President Duterte and his anointed successor in the next year’s polls.

"1Sambayan is pleased to announce to the nation that it has reached a decision to endorse Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential candidate for the May 2022 elections," 1Sambayan Lead Convenor and former Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said in a press briefing on Thursday.

Following a “rigorous process” of consulting its chapters and partners with three million members in total, Carpio said that Robredo was chosen based on their criteria of “integrity, competence, track record, patriotism, vision for our country and winnability.”

"We therefore ask VP Leni to accept our endorsement to lead the Filipino people in these difficult times in our history," he said.

Carpio added: “And we asked the Filipino people to join 1Sambayan in supporting VP Leni as the next president who will lead us in healing our nation, reviving our economy, generating employment, eliminating hunger, ending the wanton killing of fellow Filipinos, eradicating graft and corruption, defending our sovereignty and sovereign rights, strengthening our democratic institutions, upholding our civil liberties and restoring our pride and dignity as a people."

The group is hoping that Robredo will accept their endorsement for her to run as President, in which the Vice President has yet to announce if she will run for higher office next year.

‘Leni asks for prayers on her decision’

In response to 1Sambayan’s nomination, Vice President Leni Robredo thanked the coalition for their trust and support to back her possible presidential bid.

Robredo, however, did not categorically accept the nomination, and has asked the public for prayers on her decision in the coming days that she described “will be what is best for our country.”

“Mabigat ang hinihiling sa isang pangulo. Maraming responsibilidad at obligasyon ang dala nito—buhay at kinabukasan ng Pilipino ang nakataya. Ang desisyon sa pagtakbo, hindi pwedeng nakabase sa ambisyon, o sa pag-udyok ng iba. Sa loob ito dapat manggaling, dala ng pagharap sa lahat ng konsiderasyon at malalim na pagsuri sa situwasyon,” the Vice President said.

She added: “Mulat tayo sa tungkulin natin, bilang pinuno at Pilipino, at taimtim na pagninilay at pagdarasal ang ginagawa natin. Sa mga susunod na araw, samahan niyo akong magdasal pa, that our decision will be what is best for our country."

Robredo and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were the only possible aspirants that agreed to participate in 1Sambayan’s selection process. While other presidential candidates, such as Senator Ping Lacson and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, declined to be vetted by the coalition.

Nevertheless, the opposition coalition recently posted that they have met Robredo, Trillanes, Moreno, and Senator Manny Pacquiao as part of their unity talks in forming a single opposition against the administration’s chosen successor.

1Sambayan convenor Etta Rosales also said last week that the group was divided between Robredo and Moreno in their internal discussions for their eventual pick. Moreno has already announced his presidential bid and will file his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) by next week.

The period for the filing of COCs for the 2022 Elections will start on October 1 and will end on Friday, October 8.

Report sources: 1Sambayan, VP Leni Robredo FB