Philippine vice president to run for top job

Bangkok, Oct 7 (EFE).- Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, one of the most critical voices against President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies, confirmed Thursday her candidacy for next year’s general elections.

“I am firm in my resolution, we have to free ourselves from the current situation. I will fight. We will fight. I offer myself as a candidate for president in the 2022 elections,” Robredo said in a television address before formalizing her candidacy.

The vice president, perceived as the only real opposition to Duterte, said it is time to leave behind “the old and rotten policies” that do not allow Filipinos to cause change.

“Let’s defeat the old and rotten politics. Let’s restore the power of the Filipinos on the street to bring change. I know that many of you have been working toward this goal in recent months. I can feel that you trust me. Let me say it now: I have complete confidence in you,” Robledo said in Tagalog.

Robredo will face Bongbong Marcos, son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, boxer Manny Pacquiao, Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso and Sara Duterte, the daughter of the current president, among others.

Sara Duterte is perhaps the biggest favorite in the polls, but has been reluctant to file her candidacy, having said last month that she wouldn’t run if her father was running for vice president. However, the current president withdrew his candidacy last weekend, paving the way for his daughter’s possible bid.

Robredo did not enter Philippine politics until the death in 2012 of her husband Jese Robredo in a plane crash, while he served as Interior Secretary under President Benigno Aquino.

Before becoming a congresswoman in 2013 and vice president in 2016, Robredo stood out for her activism in the defense of human rights and her work as a public defender for rural communities without access to legal services.

Robredo defeated Bongbong Marcos, one of her main rivals in the 2016 elections, by winning the vice presidency of the country from him by a few thousand votes, a position she has used to become Duterte’s main opposition figure in matters such as his drug war and rapprochement with China. EFE


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