Vice President Leni Robredo announced the eleven candidates who will be running for senator under her ticket in a press conference this Friday, October 15.

Robredo’s senatorial slate is led by incumbent Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, former Congressman Teddy Baguilat, as well as lawyers Jose Manuel ‘Chel” Diokno and Alex Lacson. Hontiveros, de Lima, Trillanes, Baguilat, Diokno, and Lacson are all running exclusively under Robredo.

Robredo’s senatorial ticket also features five guest candidates: former Vice President Jejomar Binay, incumbent Senators Richard Gordon, Joel Villanueva, and Miguel Zubiri, as well as former Senator and now Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero. “Guest candidates” can be adopted by other presidential candidates.

In response to questions from reporters, Robredo explained that the twelfth slot in her senatorial slate will be given to someone who representes the marginalized sectors. She also explicitly said that former Congressman Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna party-list and Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula are being considered for the spot.

Leni Robredo for president 2022
Vice President Leni Robredo and her running-mate Senator Francis Pangiinan (Photo credits: Facebook page of Vice President Leni Robredo)

COMMENTARY:

Obviously, Robredo’s picks will not satisfy her most devoted followers, but that’s fine. Her aim is not to reach out to people who are already inclined to vote for her. Her choice of Senator Francis Pangilinan as running-mate as well as her senatorial ticket shows that her presidential bid is not a “kamikaze” mission. She is in to win.

She knows the basic truth that politics is addition. She clearly understands that she has to reach out beyond her base. Also, investing in legislative allies will make it easier for her to pass her agenda as President.
In the meantime, it is hoped that Colmenares will eventually be included in Robredo’s senatorial team. They are ideological allies and they should be negotiating instead of mudslinging. Small differences should be glossed over in the name of pursuing a shared goal of defeating a common enemy.

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