Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo has transferred her voter registration from Naga City to Magarao town in the province of Camarines Sur, her spokesman confirmed on Friday.
Office of the Vice-President (OVP) spokesman Ibarra “Barry” M. Gutierrez III made the announcement amid speculation that Ms. Robredo, who has been endorsed by an opposition coalition as its standard bearer for the 2022 elections, would seek a gubernatorial post in Camarines Sur.
In a press release, Mr. Guttierez said Ms. Robredo made the decision on “the advice of her lawyers who wanted consistency in her actual residence ngayon (now).”
The OVP clarified that the Vice-President’s transfer of registration “does not mean she has already decided to run for Camarines Sur governor.”
“She’s been very clear that insofar as the possibility of a gubernatorial run is concerned, that has to wait for a decision on ’yung kaniyang pagtakbo (on her run) for president,” Mr. Guttierez said.
Ms. Robredo has been negotiating with various political camps critical of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration in a bid to form a unified opposition in the 2022 elections.
On Thursday, 1Sambayan, a coalition convened by former government officials and civic leaders, formally picked Ms. Robredo as its presidential candidate next year.
In a statement released after the group’s announcement, Ms. Robredo said she is still in “deep discernment” over her political plans. She asked supporters to join her in “prayer” so “that our decision will be what is best for our country.”
Support for Ms. Robredo’s potential presidential run increased by two points to 8%, according to a new Pulse Asia survey.
Political analysts said the opposition leader’s rankings in pre-election surveys will improve once she declares her candidacy.
Political analyst Maria Ela L. Atienza earlier told BusinessWorld that Ms. Robredo is having a hard time finalizing a presidential run “because it’s very difficult to run a national campaign without a clear and stable support group, machinery, and sufficient funds.”
She said Ms. Robredo might need the kind of support that the late President Corazon C. Aquino got from civil society in the 1986 snap elections against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. — Kyle Aristophere Atienza