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    Interview with Atty. Barry Gutierrez at ANC Top Story

    Interview with Atty. Barry Gutierrez at ANC Top Story
    ANC Top Story, ANC 24/7

    RON CRUZ: Good afternoon.

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Good afternoon Ron.

    RON CRUZ: We have Joey Salceda, Beng Climaco, Rufus Rodriguez drumming up support for a Leni Robredo, Sara Duterte vote for 2022, RoSa 2022. How does the Robredo camp react to this push?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, to be clear, the Vice President has said it many many many times. Her running mate of choice, her vice president of choice, and the person she will be campaigning for very very strongly for the next 48 days will be no other than Senator Kiko Pangilinan. But that said, these are people who have declared support for her independently before, and who are– who [continued to] support her. So, we are grateful for the support they actually continue to show the Vice President and her presidential run. We respect their decision to endorse whoever they want to endorse. Insofar as the Vice President and the campaign are concerned, it is Senator Kiko who we will be supporting for VP.

    RON CRUZ: One thing, the supporters of RoSa 2022 can throw back at you is what the Vice President has often said, that the "Best Man for the Job is a Woman." Now won't two women at the helm of government be better?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well you know, that's their opinion. But as we have always said repeatedly, along with that particular slogan, you have to go through a process of discernment. Discerning who actually is the best qualified, not just in terms of the promises they make, but in terms of what they have already done. 'Yung resibo kumbaga. And it is very clear to our minds that among all the vice presidential candidates, it is Senator Kiko Pangilinan who is the most qualified, who has the clearest track record, who has the pinaka mabigat na resibo in terms of mga nagawa na insofar all the other vice presidential bets are concerned. So, you know, that's the reason why he was chosen as the running mate of VP Leni. And that's the reason why she will continue to support him until election day. And you know, hopefully until he wins as VP.

    RON CRUZ: In any case, Robredo– a possible Robredo-Duterte win won’t be up to you. It will be up to the voters. But in that scenario, can the Vice President work with the daughter of someone she stood up against? Or can this hinder her in any way in pushing for her agenda if she wins?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Definitely. I think that the Vice President has been very clear on this point. She has had first hand experience of what it feels like to be a vice president not given the opportunity to serve in the fullest capacity she can and she has said she ever is elected president, whoever becomes her vice president, she will give that person the opportunity to serve in the best way possible. So, regardless of whether it is her vice president of choice, Senator Kiko, or somebody else, then you know that person can be assured that as vice president, he or she will be a partner to the administration and will be given the opportunity to serve in the best capacity possible.

    RON CRUZ: And speaking of Senator Pangilinan, have you heard from how he has reacted to this push?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: I think that Senator Kiko is a veteran and he knows that this is the way the system works. Unfortunately, we have a Constitutional set up where the president and the vice president are not elected as a tandem. So, as a matter of course in every election, there will be people who will endorse one presidential candidate coming from a particular tandem and another vice presidential candidate coming from a different tandem. So, it's a– it's par for the course, and I think that insofar as his own feelings of the matter are concerned, the most important person to back him will of course be VP Leni. And she has that, a hundred and ten percent he has that. And I think that is the most important support, that is the most important endorsement that he will have in this particular election.

    RON CRUZ: Okay. On to another issue. We have the PDP Laban endorsing the candidacy of Bongbong Marcos. Do you think this is significant, would this make it difficult for you to eat up votes of Marcos?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, it was clear from the outset that PDP laban was going to go this way anyway. It's not a– it's not surprise, it's not something that we were– that is unexpected, and we think that their base is already supporting the candidate that they decided to formally endorse. So, it's not really something that we are concerned with. It's not really something we feel is new to this particular campaign. So, tuloy lang. Tingin namin wala namang masyadong epekto ito.

    RON CRUZ: This of course was a party endorsement we have– even Malacañang highlighting that, distancing the President from this decision. But we know that President Duterte is his own man, and then could still, you know, break away from the party decision and endorse someone else. You've said before that you'd welcome a Duterte endorsement but with no strings attached. Are you still hoping for a Duterte endorsement for Vice President Leni Robredo?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, you know, the president will decide when he decides, he will decide in the way that he decides. So, it's not really something that we can factor in in any plans. If it comes then, it comes. It's something that we will deal with when it happens.

    RON CRUZ: But what–

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: But for now–

    RON CRUZ: Go ahead sir, go ahead.

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: But for now, the focus will really be on simply continuing with the campaign, simply going on with our own strategy. And we have 48 days left. We think that will be enough.

    RON CRUZ: But do you think a Duterte endorsement will do you good, give you an edge, advantage over Marcos?

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, it will certainly reach out to certain constituencies that we may not be reaching at the moment. But as I said, the uncertainty of it and the fact that as you said, the President has always been his own man, means that it's not something that we can really bank on or that we can make a decision point insofar as strategy is concerned. So, in the next 48 days, we're really going to be focusing on what the things that we can control, and that involves strengthening the people's campaign, strengthening the message of the VP, and ensuring that we are reaching as many constituencies as we can with her message of hope and her message of a competent and reliable clean government.

    RON CRUZ: The spokesperson for Vice President Leni Robredo, Attorney Barry Gutierrez. Thank you once again.

    BARRY GUTIERREZ: Always a pleasure Ron. Stay safe.


    Posted in Transcripts on Mar 22, 2022