Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said it would be too early to predict the chances of the Liberal Party’s candidates in the upcoming senatorial elections, citing her experience during the 2016 national elections where she eventually emerged victorious.
“Kung pagbabasehan kasi iyong pinakahuli na lumabas ng Pulse Asia survey, mayroong kaunti lang na may chance na manalo. Pero ako kasi iyong pinakamalaking halimbawa noon, eh. Napakaaga pa para pag-usapan iyong chances, kasi in the middle of the campaign season, talagang umiiba iyong ihip ng hangin,” VP Leni said in an interview after the LP announced its initial slate for the 2019 senatorial elections in Quezon City on Tuesday.
VP Leni said the best example of this was during the 2016 national elections where she won the people’s support and beat five other contenders in the vice presidential race, despite her low awareness ratings at the start of the campaign.
The LP leadership, during its National Executive Council (NECO) meeting on Tuesday, announced its first three bets for the senatorial elections in May 2019. These include re-electionist Senator Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, and former Quezon representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III.
VP Leni, who also chairs the party, endorsed former Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Samira Gutoc to join LP’s senatorial slate. Gutoc, a former Lanao del Sur assemblywoman, resigned from the BTC after President Duterte made remarks about soldiers raping women while martial law is in effect in Mindanao.
The Vice President added that popularity was not among the criteria of the party in choosing their bets for the senatorial race. She said the LP selected candidates whose stand on issues are consistent with the core beliefs of the party.
“[K]laro sa amin na hindi kami magpapadala sa popularidad bilang iyon iyong pinakamalaking batayan para sa pagpili ng kandidato. Klaro sa amin na mayroong, parang, checklist. Saan ba tumatayo iyong nominee na ito sa ilan na mga issues? Kasi mahirap magsama iyong iba’t iba iyong paniniwala; hindi malakas iyong samahan,” VP Leni said. “Mas mabuti pa rin na paniniwala iyong basehan kung bakit kami nagsasama-sama.”
VP Leni said the party will announce tentatively on October 8 the rest of the candidates who will complete the LP’s senatorial slate.