Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday agreed that choosing the next set of Commission on Elections officials in 2022 was a matter of public concern, adding that it would affect public trust in the upcoming May national and local polls.
"Ako agree ako, agree ako na ang pag-appoint is a matter of public concern kasi ang pinakamahalaga naman sa eleksyon yung tiwala ng tao ay buo," Robredo told reporters during her visit to Libmanan, Camarines Sur.
(I agree that appointing officials is a matter of public concern because it is important for the public to trust the elections.)
"Na sa eleksyon maniniwala yung tao na yung nakaupo na mag-guard sa boto, walang biases," she added.
(That in the elections, people must be able to trust that those who would guard their votes would be unbiased.)
Asked if people should be alarmed that President Rodrigo Duterte would be appointing new Comelec officials next year, Robredo emphasized that elections were a contributing factor in democratic governments and thus must be transparent.
In February 2022, ahead of next year's polls, both Comelec Chairman Sherriff Abas and fiery Commissioner Rowena Guanzon would be retiring.
Help for ‘poorest of the poor’ farmers
While in Libmanan, Robredo met with farmers and said that she was seeking a more "active and long-range" approach to help the poorest of the poor in their sector.
If elected president, Robredo said she would ensure assistance to give hope to the poorest of the poor farmers.
"So ngayon nakikita namin kaunting tulong lang binigay namin pero sila talaga yung nag expand ng kanilang capacities so kung sakin kung magiging pangulo ako mas maraming platform mabibigay ko para siguraduhin na yun poorest of the poor sa mga farmers natin nabibigyan ng pag-asa," she said.
(I can see that with the little help that we could offer, the farmers were able to expand their capacities. So for me, if I become president, I'll make sure more platforms would give hope and help these farmers.)
Asked if Robredo would get most of her votes in the Bicol Region, she responded that she would not take it as a given that the region would vote for her.
"Kailangan pagtrabahuhan. 'Di ako entitled na dahil Bikolano, dapat sakin bumoto lahat. Iba 'yung paniniwala ko about it. 'Yung paniniwala ko dapat naiintindihan ng mga tao what it means for our region na magkaroon ng Bikolanong pangulo so kailangan magte-take time ako to explain to them," she said.
(I have to work for it. I am not entitled to these votes just because I'm from Bicol. I have a different belief. I think people should understand and I should take time to explain why we need a president from Bicol.)
Robredo also pointed out that the current conditions of her candidacy were different, adding that several groups would plan for her events instead of her team making schedules for her visits.
"Ngayon, baliktad. Different teams ang nagpaplano, nag-sched. Mag-show up na lang ako," she said.
(Today it's different. Various groups would plan or make schedules and I will just show up for it.)
— DVM, GMA News