"ALAM niyo ba sino ang may kasalanan kung bakit natuloy ako sa pagkakandidato ko sa pagka-pangulo? Ang mga Kapampangan ang may kasalanan."
Thus said Vice President and presidential bet Leni Robredo in jest as she addressed her supporters during her visit in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga on Friday afternoon, October 15, 2021.
Robredo said she was visited by some Kapampangan leaders including former Governor Ed Panlilio, this city's Mayor Edwin "Edsa" Santiago to convince her to run for the nation's top post.
Months before the filing, Robredo said she was already certain not to run for president due to her experiences for nearly six years as Vice President.
"Iyong una, bugbog na bugbog ako noong nakaraang five and a half years. Nasanay po ako na halos lahat na local officials—hindi naman lahat—pero halos lahat ng local officials, kapag pupunta ako sa lugar nila, takot silang makita na kasama ako kasi baka may repercussions," she said.
She added that several compromises in terms of belief as well as in the implementation of programs also had to be made due to politics.
"Hindi naman sa napagod ako pero ang iniisip ko lang, hindi ko gusto na ganito, na kung ano iyong kulay. Na ang dami ko sanang gusto na gawin pero dahil sa politika, hindi ako buwelong gumawa," Robredo said.
Despite her explanation, Robredo said Panlilio and Santiago were emphatic on pushing her to take on the challenge of serving once more the Filipino people.
"Mahaba iyong aming diskusyon ni Among Ed. Ang explanation niya sa akin, 'duty mo ito kasi wala, eh. Parang walang mapapagpilian. Mahirap na'—although ang sinabi niya naman, 'Kung anong desisyon mo, igagalang namin. Pero iyon iyong aming nasa loob.' Basta sabi niya, 'Basta pabayaan mo lang kami. Basta iyong ginagawa namin sa Pampanga, tuloy-tuloy lang,'" the vice president recalled.
She likewise shared how Santiago, in a lengthy discussion, convinced her of how different the next election will be.
"Si Mayor Edsa talagang very, very emphatic na, sabi niya “Hindi, makikita mo iyan. Mag-file ka lang. Gagalaw iyong mga tao.” Pero ako kasi, medyo sinet aside ko iyon," she said.
Robredo, however, said the major turning point was the nomination of the 1Sambayan coalition as their presidential bet.
Robredo expressed gratitude to the Kapampangan leaders who continuously supported her and her office's program, and for believing in her leadership.
She also thanked the Pampanga for Leni movement and all the organizations leading the education drive about her propaganda and the fake news circulating about Philippine history.
"Ang laban po natin sa 2022, hindi po ito laban namin ni Senator Kiko , pero laban natin lahat. Kaya maraming salamat sa inyo, kaya maraming salamat sa suporta at paniniwala. Ready na ba? Ready na ba tayo?," she said.
Robredo recently visited this capital city for the second dose of Fernandinos who were jabbed through the assistance of Vaccine Express of the Office of the Vice President.