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Race on for next PH President

As Philippine Asian News Today went to press, Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo announced Thursday (October 7) that she is running to become the next President of the country.

Robredo was previously picked by the opposition coalition group 1Sambayan as its presidential candidate for the May 9, 2022 national elections.

“Itataya ko ang lahat (I will bet everything),” Robredo said.

“Magtatagumpay tayo (We will succeed),” the Vice President declared.

Robredo joined a crowded slate of candidates to become the successor of current President Rodrigo Duterte.

On October 1, retired boxing icon and Senator Manny Pacquiao became the first president aspirant to file his certificate of candidacy before the Commission on Elections.

Pacquiao said that he is quitting boxing, the sports that gave him “the chance to fight my way out poverty” and “the courage to change more lives.”

Surveys show that Pacquaio does not lead rivals for the presidency.

“Survey is just a number,” Pacquiao said. “The voices of small people, those who are suffering have yet to be heard.”

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Panfilo Lacson are also running for President.

In announcing his plan for 2022, Moreno said: “We need unity. Let us heal the country.”

Lacson, who ran but was not successful in the 2004 presidential election, has promised clean government if he wins next year.

On October 6, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed his certificate of candidacy for the highest office of the land.

Prospective candidates for President have until October 8 to file their certificate of candidacy.

President Duterte is constitutionally barred from seeking a second six-year term.

There are 64 million eligible voters in the Philippines.

The spotlight will be on Sara Duterte-Carpio, the president’s daughter and Mayor of Davao City.

Duterte-Carpio has said that she will not run for higher office in next year’s poll.

Duterte-Carpio, 43, replaced her father as Davao City mayor when he became president.

She remains by far the most popular presidential prospect, according to successive opinion polls, although her numbers have declined recently.

Even if Duterte-Carpio misses the October 8 deadline for registration, she still has until November 15 to make a late entry – as her father did in 2015.

Robredo defeated Marcos Jr. in the race to become vice president in 2016.

Presidents and vice presidents are elected separately in the Philippines.

Marcos Jr. on October 6 said that he seeks to follow the footsteps of his father Ferdinand Marcos Sr. who ruled the country for more than two decades.

Marcos said he hopes to bring all Filipinos to work together towards a shared vision and goal, especially now that the country is facing challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Robredo was pushing for a united opposition slate for the 2022 national elections, hence the late decision to enter the presidential race.

Prior to the filing of certificates of candidacy, she sat down and talked with other possible candidates including Moreno, Lacson, and Pacquiao.

However, it appears that the talks failed as all have expressed their intent to run for the presidency.

President Duterte had previously announced that he would run for vice president in accepting the nomination of his party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan.

He then signed a certificate of nomination and acceptance.

However, in a surprise move on October 2, the 76-year-old Duterte said he would be retiring from politics and his longtime aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go would run as vice president instead.

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