Robredo: Unity talks I initiated were done with sincerity

Vice President Leni Robredo said Friday that she has and always been sincere in pursuing unity talks with other political parties, saying she won’t bother doing so if she wasn’t.

Robredo’s remark came a day after Senator Panfilo Lacson said he felt insulted after the unity talks with Robredo’s camp, when he got informed that a leader of the Liberal Party had made “hand gestures” to push for a Robredo-Vicente “Tito” Sotto III tandem for the 2022 elections.

It’s too insulting to say the least” that the hand gestures were made when I was not looking, Lacson had said.

Lacson claimed that his running mate, Senate President Sotto, told him about the supposed interpretation of the hand gestures.

But Robredo, in a press conference on Friday, insisted: “Ako ang nag-reach out sa kanila. Bakit ako magri-reach out kung di ako seryoso? (I was the one who reached out. Why would I do so if I was not serious)?”

“I have talked to both of them (Lacson and Sotto). There was no intention at all to blindside anybody. If that was the intention, we would have sought for Senator Sotto alone,” Robredo added.

Robredo tried to forge a unity ticket among her fellow presidential aspirants Lacson, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Senator Manny Pacquiao before she filed her certificate of candidacy, but the unity talks did not prosper.

The reason for the failure of the talks, Robredo said, was that there are “negotiable” concerns on her agenda, including the commitment to defeat the administration and their allies such as former Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr.; and to replace existing incompetence with good and efficient governance.

Last Wednesday, Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said he has already “moved forward” from the verbal tussle between him and VP Robredo, and that he has put the issue behind him.

In that “verbal tussle,” Isko was even quoted as calling Robredo a “fake leader with a fake color.”

But amid the trading of barbs between Moreano and Robredo, Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice, who is part of Moreno’s Aksyon Demokratiko, is still hopeful of a unification.

I think there’s a chance for unification. Kung lalabas ‘yung numbers, makikita naman natin ‘yan. Sinasabi ko nga dapat open si Mayor Isko, dapat open si Vice President Leni kung ano ‘yung picture ng numbers at kung wala naman talagang ibang dapat gawin para matapos na itong pang-aabuso ng gobyernong ito, hindi na makabalik ‘yung mga Marcos,” Erice said. –LBG, GMA News

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