MANILA, Feb 4 (Mabuhay) — The Liberal Party (LP) is considering fielding Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential candidate for the 2022 polls even if the latter is yet to decide if she will pursue such a bid, LP president and Senator Kiko Pangilinan said Thursday.

“Siyempre, siya ang pinakamataas na opisyal ng partido and the highest ranked elected official among us [in LP ranks] so she is also being considered,” Pangilinan told reporters in a virtual press conference when asked if the Vice President is being considered to be LP’s standard bearer for the 2022 polls.

Robredo, being the highest ranked elected official in LP’s ranks, serves as the LP chairperson.

Pangilinan, however, clarified that LP is yet to discuss its possible presidential bet for 2022 exhaustively since the Vice President  and the party is focused on doing their part in COVID-19 response.

“She has said na wala pa siyang desisyon, na marami pang puwedeng mangyari…so our focus now is how we can help our people amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he pointed out.

Pangilinan, however, acknowledged that consultations and recruitment are being done to expand LP membership so that candidates of LP and other allied groups will be able to secure victory in the May 2022 polls.

The LP-led opposition is coming off a devastating defeat in the 2019 midterm polls, with no opposition candidate in the Senate race winning a seat among its eight bets.

Robredo is also facing an uphill climb, at least based on the January poll on Pulse Asia, which ranked her sixth with 8% rating among potential 2022 presidential bets.

Should Robredo decide to seek the presidency, it will mark the first election wherein she will run under the opposition banner since she won in 2013 as Camarines Sur representative and in 2016 as vice president being the administration candidate.

The filing of candidacy for the 2022 polls is tentatively set in October this year.

Three days ago, former Ifugao representative Teodoro Baguilat revealed that supporters of the Vice President met in Quezon province to push for her candidacy for president in the May 2022 polls, including raising campaign funds.

In 2019, Robredo said she is keeping her options open.

“I’m leaving everything open. We still have three years before the next presidential elections. A lot can still happen, and I’ve always said that the presidency is a destiny. There are so many politicians who have sought the presidency and have prepared for it for many years,” Robredo said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. (MNS)

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