Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo has repeatedly called for unity, contrary to senatorial candidate Salvador Panelo’s statement that she hasn’t.
Panelo, former presidential legal counsel, said in an April 11 interview with Apollo Quiboloy of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) that he cannot endorse Robredo because she hasn’t called on Filipinos to unite. He said at the 50:00 mark:
…hindi ho sila (Robredo and her camp) nananawagan na magkaisa. E paano ko naman gagawin yun. Apart from hindi na nga sila naniniwala and how can I even say na ituloy natin ang pagbabago, e si Bongbong Marcos lang po ang nagsasabi nyan: Ituloy natin ang pagbabago, magkaisa tayo. So how can I even endorse, even if she is a personal friend? Hindi ko magagawa ‘yun (Third, they [VP Leni Robredo and her camp] are not calling for unity. How can I do that [endorse her]? Apart from that they don't believe in [unity] and how can I even say that we will continue the change, only Bongbong Marcos says that: Let us pursue change, let us unite. So how can I even endorse her, even if she is a personal friend? I can’t do that).
Bongbong is the nickname of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. whose presidential bid Panelo is backing.
Contrary to what Panelo said, Robredo said she was running for the presidency to unite the country when she announced her candidacy on Oct. 7.
Ang pinakamahalaga, magkaisa kami–sa prinsipyo, sa pangarap para sa bansa at sa landas na dapat tahakin tungo sa katuparan ng mga tao (Most importantly, let us unite — in principle, in the dream for the country and in the path that must be taken towards the fulfillment of the people).
When she introduced her senatorial slate on Oct. 15, Robredo highlighted the importance of unity:
Ngayong araw, daragdagan ko pa ito (slate) ng anim na pangalan. Labing-isa na sila—mga tumugon sa tawag nating magkaisa, kahit pa ba iba-iba ang pinanggagalingan (Today, we add six names to the list. Together, this makes 11 individuals who answered our call for unity, even as they come from different backgrounds.)
In her closing statement during the April 3 #PilipinasDebates2022, Robredo said at the 2:23:11 mark:
Ang tunay na lakas ay hindi nanggagaling sa pera o makinarya kundi sa pagkakaisa ng taumbayan (True strength does not come from money or machinery but from the unity of the people).
The SMNI interview has collected 13,834 views, 1,200 likes and 67 comments as of writing. (HM)