'Sorry Ma'am,' Ex-Duterte Ally Tells Robredo as He Endorses Her

'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'
Photo/s: VP Leni Robredo Media Bureau

Former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday apologized to Vice President Leni Robredo as he endorsed her candidacy for president as head of Partido Reporma.

The endorsement from Alvarez, a former ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, led former Reporma standard bearer Sen. Ping Lacson to quit as party chairman and continue running for president as an independent.

"Hindi naman siguro pinaka-critic although aminin ko nagki-critic din ako kay Vice President. Marami din ako hindi nasabi maganda at humihingi ako ng tawad ma'am," Alvarez told Robredo, who was seated beside him.

"We need a leader and for the 2022 presidential elections and given all these considerations and the crisis we have to overcome, that leader is a woman. Her name is Leni Robredo," Alvarez said.

Alvarez in the past had called Robredo "shameless" in 2017 for her comments against the chief executive's bloody war on drugs. At one point, Alvarez even threatened to move for Robredo's impeachment as vice president.

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"Nung time na ako ay Speaker, lahat ginawa ko para protektahan at dipensahan ang ating Pangulo," Alvarez said. "Ganoon talaga ugali ko pag dinidepensahan ko yung kasama ko, I'm willing to take the bullets, kahit magalit ka na sa akin...Inaarbor ko yung away eh pero ganun talaga ako."

EXPLAINER: Why Balimbing Stands for Turncoats in Philippine Politics

Robredo said she did not take offense to Alvarez's criticism of her, saying they now share the same vision for leadership.

"You do not need to apologize. Over the course of our service to the country, mayroong mga bagay na hindi napagkakasunduan," Robredo told Alvarez.

"Wala sa aking personal na disagreement...Ang pinakamensahe ng pag-file ko as independent ay bukas ako sa lahat as long  as nagkakaisa ang gaming hangarin para ayusin ang ating bansa," she added.


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