Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday she declined Sen. Panfilo Lacson's "unification formula" for the 2022 elections because it called for candidates to yield to the one who ranks high in surveys.
Robredo, who has been meeting potential contenders in the 2022 polls to come up with the "broadest possible unity" against the administration candidate, said she disclosed the context of their discussions after Lacson said last week that she declined the unification formula.
"Ang proposal kasi ito: kaming mga nag-uusap-usap, magfa-file kaming lahat ng certificate of candidacy tapos mag-agree kami ng certain time before the elections na titignan namin kung sino yung pinakamalakas sa surveys, yun yung susuportahan namin tapos all the rest magwi-withdraw," she said during her weekly radio program.
Robredo said she was not agreeable to such a proposal because she didn't want to withdraw in the middle of the game, when her supporters had already pinned their hopes on her.
"Kapag nag-file ako, kailangan kong ituloy ang laban. Kapag nag-file ako, hindi ako pwedeng umatras kahit gaano pa kahirap kasi prinesenta ko na yung sarili ko sa publiko," she said.
Robredo said she understood that Lacson also wanted unification for the 2022 elections, prompting him to suggest such formula.
"[Pero] yung pagtutol ko dahil sa personal na paniniwala na ayokong parang ni-lead on namin yung supporters na tumaya sila sa akin kasi akala nila nandun ako hanggang sa huli ng laban," she added.
Robredo earlier said the opposition must field a single presidential candidate, but she couldn't commit herself to be the standard bearer except to say that she remained "open" to running for president.
She said she has until Oct. 8, the last day of the filing of candidacy, to decide if she would run for president in the 2022 elections. "Pero sa akin, kapag nag-file ako, hindi ako magwi-withdraw kahit gaano pa kahirap."
Lacson said he respects Robredo's decision for resisting his "unification formula."
"I admit that while there could be some complications attendant to my suggestion, nevertheless, it was a sincere and selfless offer in support of her equally sincere efforts to have one common candidate against whoever will be the administration’s bet," he said on Sunday, responding to the vice president's statement.
For now, Robredo said she would suspend her discussion with other candidates as most parts of the country are under stricter quarantine classifications to curb the spread of the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant.