Filipino social media turned pink on Thursday after Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo officially filed for her candidacy to run for president in the 2022 election.
An uphill battle: In a speech delivered in Filipino, the 56-year old former human rights lawyer acknowledged the “heavy responsibility” that comes with the candidacy, noting that it “can’t be based on personal ambition or external pressure.”
- Robredo, who was sworn into office as vice president to incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, has been at odds with the president on several issues, including his deadly war on drugs, as she is part of the rival party. In the Philippines, the president and the vice president can be from two different parties as they’re elected separately.
- She has also criticized the Duterte administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response, even revealing at one point that she was tempted to tell the president to let her handle the crisis, reported Rappler.
- The vice president has previously stated that her biggest motivations in running for president are to prevent an administration that’s similar to Duterte’s and to stop the Marcos family from returning to power, as Bongbong Marcos, one of the presidential candidates, is the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
- 1Sambayan, a coalition of political and civic opposition groups, endorsed Robredo to run last week, stating that she has the “integrity, competence and track record” to lead the country.
- Robredo, who has been trying to convince rival political leaders and groups to rally behind one opposition candidate to go against the administration, fulfilled the endorsement by filing her candidacy a week later.
- Along with her vice-presidential running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Robredo filed her candidacy as an “Independent” instead of running under the banner of the Liberal Party, which she still chairs.
Color of change: With Robredo adopting pink and blue as her main campaign colors, which is a deviation from the yellow that her party had been associated with, celebrities, brands, personalities and others flooded social media with the color pink after her announcement to run.
- As social media users express their support, the hashtag #LabanLeni2022, which means “Fight Leni,” became a trending hashtag on Twitter.
A crowded field: Robredo is the only female candidate currently in contention for the country’s highest office, which has attracted presidential candidates that include retired boxer Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Bato Dela Rosa.
- Pacquiao, who recently retired from boxing, said he is hoping to fight poverty and corruption by serving with “integrity, compassion and transparency”, NextShark previously reported.
- Marcos Jr., a known Duterte ally, is the son of despot Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the Philippines for 21 years, until he was removed from office by a peaceful revolt known as the “EDSA People Power” in 1986. He has been accused of promoting “historical revisionism” aimed at whitewashing his father’s regime by citing economic growth while minimizing the rampant corruption, extravagance and brutality of that time. In 2016, he lost to Robredo in the race for the vice presidency.
- Dela Rosa, former police chief and implementer of the drug war under the Duterte administration, has filed his candidacy as the administration’s standard-bearer. Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, filed her candidacy for reelection as mayor under a different party that she founded, according to the Philippine Star.
- Domagoso, previously a known Duterte supporter, recently spoke out against the alleged corruption of the current administration.