Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has expressed his intention to run for president in 2022 under the opposition coalition 1Sambayan if Vice President Leni Robredo decides to run for Camarines Sur governor.
Trillanes said he asked 1Sambayan to change his status to principal candidate for president vying for the coalition's nomination from being only an alternate candidate to Robredo.
"In the event that VP Leni definitely decides to run for President before 1Sambayan picks its nominees in July, I would wholeheartedly step aside and withdraw my own candidacy in her favor," the former senator said in his Facebook post.
"But until then, we would work on the assumption that VP Leni would run for Governor of CamSur and, thus, we could now start our own preparations focusing on the development of policy prescriptions to solve the different problems of our country," he added.
Robredo "remains open to all options, including a candidacy for President," her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said in a tweet. He also denied that the vice president is preparing to run for governor in her home province.
Led by former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the 1Sambayan Coalition aims to form a single slate of national candidates to run against the administration ticket backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Trillanes said his desire to run for president in Robredo's stead was not intended to divide the opposition, as "there will be only one unified slate" to be nominated by 1Sambayan.
He also recognized that winning the elections under the opposition wouldn't be easy.
"Having said this, I still have faith that the Filipino people will, yet again, deliver when we need them most," Trillanes said.
"The question is, how will the opposition win in 2022? Kailangan po namin ng tulong ninyo," he added.
Trillanes previously ran for vice president in the 2016 elections. He placed fifth overall.