Personalities who begged off from being considered for nomination by opposition coalition 1Sambayan for the 2022 elections can still change their minds, retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday.
“We have not closed our nominations. So anyone can come in or come back,” said Carpio, one of the group’s convenors, in an online press conference.
He said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who previously asked 1Sambayan to remove his name from its possible choices, “can come back if he wants to.” Moreno placed second in the June survey of independent pollster Pulse Asia among possible candidates for president and vice president.
Carpio also said the coalition continues to hold discussions with Senator Ralph Recto, the husband of Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Recto, who declined 1Sambayan’s nomination last month.
The retired magistrate said possible candidates might decide only by late September as early declarations will allegedly make them subjects of President Rodrigo Duterte’s internet “trolls.”
“The situation is fluid because these candidates are afraid. If they come up now, the trolls of Duterte will pound on them,” Carpio said.
“There is no way you can fight back because these are anonymous people. These are fake people.”
The filing of certificates of candidacy will take place in the first week of October.
1Sambayan revealed last month that their nominees included Vice President Leni Robredo, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Senator Grace Poe, CIBAC party-list Representative Eddie Villanueva, lawyer Jose Manuel "Chel" Diokno, and Santos-Recto.
Only Robredo and Trillanes did not decline their nominations.
Asked if 1Sambayan would be open to considering Senator Manny Pacquiao as a potential candidate for a higher post, convenor Fr. Albert Alejo said the matter must go through a process.
“If someone will nominate him (Pacquiao), we will ask him if he’s willing to undergo the process. If he’s willing, there will be interviews and criteria [that will be used to assess him],” Alejo said. “Let’s see.”
Alejo made the statement amid Pacquiao’s public disagreement with some of his fellow officials in the ruling PDP-Laban over the handling of the party’s affairs.
Carpio earlier said Pacquiao does not have the competence to become the next president of the Philippines as he criticized the latter’s poor attendance in legislative sessions.
“I think we should understand that we have to look for a leader who has competence, who can revive the economy, who can generate employment for the people, who can solve this pandemic. We cannot have a president who is absent,” the retired magistrate said in a television interview last March.—AOL, GMA News