OVP Spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez on 1Sambayan’s Endorsement of VP Leni Robredo as Presidential Candidate Top Story on ANC
Host: Ron Cruz
RON CRUZ: Joining us now, the Vice President’s Spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez. Atty. Barry, good afternoon.
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Good afternoon, Ron.
RON CRUZ: Nice to talk to you again, Sir. Now, 1Sambayan already endorsing her, that’s one of the conditions she was waiting for that she said could convince her to run. Now, why doesn’t this already seal the deal for the Vice President to run as president?
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, you know the Vice President has been very clear about her objectives over the last couple of weeks, which she has been talking to various presidentiables and their camps, attempting to forge, you know, a broader alliance, a broader degree of unity, and the possibility of a collaboration of going into 2022. So, that’s not just 1Sambayan, that’s a broader field of people and leaders that she has been talking to. So, at this point, while she issued a statement earlier and clearly she is very grateful for the trust and support expressed by 1Sambayan, and definitely the nomination she was given today will be a definite factor in her decision process moving forward, she still hasn’t given up hope on the possibility that there might be room for some level of collaboration or cooperation going into 2022. So, her decision will come soon. Make no mistake about that. The filing will already start tomorrow. It will only be until Friday of next week, October 8. So definitely, within the next couple of days, in the next few days, we will already see a decision, just as the Vice President promised for.
RON CRUZ: Okay. So there’s no anymore single factor—there’s no single factor that would make her really decide at that point that she is going to run? She’s talking to everyone, getting everyone’s points and everyone’s inputs.
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Yes. Ultimately, the decision really rests on her shoulders. She is the one talking to all these groups. She’s the one that is weighing all of these factors, the calls for her to run, which, you know, she has very—[technical lag]—expressed repeatedly her appreciation for, what her supporters have been saying, her own read on 2022 and how the political formations are currently aligning themselves at this point. So she’ll make the decision based on her own appreciation and her own process. She has also repeatedly said that, you know, she is asking people to pray for her during this process of discernment.
So definitely, all of these things will be considered. They will be given weight. But it’s going to be her decision.
RON CRUZ: But for you, guys, in the inner circle of the Vice President, aren’t you concerned that the longer she takes to decide, the more she may lose ground from others who have already made a decision to run and made an announcement about their candidacies?
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: The race for presidency in 2022 is not literally a race of who declares first—that’s been our perspective from the start. So you know, it’s true. She has not yet declared while some people have, but we don’t think that puts her at a disadvantage. At the end of the day, it will be the dynamism, the energy that the campaign can summon, that will spell the difference between a victory or a defeat in 2022. It has nothing to do whether she declares today or next week or whenever. Six months ago, people were already telling us, “it’s too late. You should declare now.” And yet here we are and the Vice President is still in a position, we believe, to actually make a viable and successful run for the presidency in 2022. The excitement generated by her supporters over the past couple of months and weeks has been overwhelming. So, you know, we’re already at the end point of her decision-making process. Just a few more days and we don’t think it’s going to make a difference one way or the other. What will make a difference is the candidate herself and the quality of her campaign—both of which we are supremely confident if—when she declares, if she declares.
RON CRUZ: We just talked to Etta Rosales of 1Sambayan and she did say that they didn’t come out—they didn’t announce the winner of their polling for vice president to give possibly the Vice President—Vice President Leni Robredo—a free hand in choosing her running-mate. Will she be choosing—well, of course, she did say that 1Sambayan is just one group of the many people that the Vice President is talking to, but is she also considering the endorsement of 1Sambayan of its vice presidential candidate or will she be making that decision on her own?
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, that’s certainly one of the factors that will be considered. The Vice President’s leadership style has always been consultative in nature. She will listen, she will consult, she will talk to various people. But you’re right that, ultimately, it’s going to be her decision. If she does decide to declare her candidacy for president, obviously, the choice of who her vice president will be, will be one of the most important initial choices that she will have to make. It will have implications not only for the campaign, but also for the, you know, the governance part after she actually wins. So, we will leave that to her. That should be given to her discretion, and we deeply appreciate that the 1Sambayan recognizes that and has given her the leeway to actually form her own slate and choose her own vice president should she decide to actually accept the nomination they extended today.
RON CRUZ: Yeah, is there are a lot that she’s choosing from as a possible running-mate?
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, several names have come up. Several people have been talked to. Obviously, depending on which adviser or which group you are talking to, they will have different ideas. So yeah, there has been a fair number of names that have been tossed about. But ultimately, I have every confidence that if and when the Vice President decides to run, she will also be ready to name her choice for vice president
RON CRUZ: Atty. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo. Thank you very much, Atty. Barry.
ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Ron! Always a pleasure.
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