No. 2 Leni Robredo Duterte of the Philippines has joined the race to succeed

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo has announced that he will run for president in May 2022, launching a final political battle in a crowded arena to oust incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte as he hopes to replicate his victory in the 2016 election. Kovid-1 has been given a new look by the pandemic epidemic.

“I am officially proposing myself as a presidential candidate in the 2022 elections. I will continue to fight. We will fight together, ”Robredo said Thursday when he announced his campaign for the presidency in a speech to Tagalog.

“The challenge we face is clear to everyone. We have seen lies and abuse. They have money and equipment. ”

The son of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the name of a powerful man in the Philippines who was ousted in 1986 after a popular uprising. -Small margin

Robredo Duterte, 5, was vice president of Robert since they were both sworn in at the 201st office.

In the Philippines, the president and vice president are elected separately, often resulting in rival party candidates such as Duterte and Robredo working together in office but often in fierce clashes over policy.

On Thursday, Rodbrado sought to sharpen the contrast with Duterte, declaring, “We will be defeated by old and rotten politics. We will return the power to change to ordinary Filipinos. ”

Last week, he was approved by a newly formed coalition of political and civic groups to take over the ruling party’s machinery, loyal to Duterte and Senator Manny Pacquiao, who is also seeking the presidency of boxing legend.

Supporting Robredo, the coalition said it has the “integrity, competence and track record” to lead the country, which is facing a historic economic recession caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, which has killed at least 38,000 people in the Philippines.

When the approval was announced last Thursday, the vice president requested more time to think through his decision. In recent months and weeks, he has been trying to persuade different political parties and personalities to rally behind one opposition candidate. But he has been deprived of being his rival.

Jason Gonzalez, a former mayor and current provincial legislator of the Central Philippines, is among the supporters of Robredo. He told Al Jazeera that despite the political dominance of Duterte and his associates over the past few years, Robredo is the only candidate who has consistently adhered to his policy.

Gonzalez added that Robredo’s perception of what a leader should be “both broad and deep” has been serving as vice president since 2016.

“If we talk about the qualities needed to govern, I think he has a spade,” Gonzalez said.

Crowded nation

In addition to Robredo and Pacquiao, those who have announced their candidacies include former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Manila Mayor Isco Moreno and former police chief and current Senator Panfilo Laxon.

Apart from Robredo, the other declared presidential candidates have past ties to Duterte, leaving him as a nominal opposition candidate.

His supporters argued that he was the “real opponent” in the upcoming race. But in a country where politics is driven more by personalities and political connections and less about principles and ideals, it can be difficult to claim to represent the opposition.

Dorte has grown up running, who was expected to be vice president last weekend. Instead, he says he is retiring from politics.

They have both served as vice presidents of Roberto Duterte since they were both sworn in in 2001, but he is considered an opposition figure and has often clashed with the president on a number of issues, including the so-called deadly war on drugs. [File: Bullit Marquez/AP]

This could pave the way for the late entry of his daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio running. He is leading the polls in a fictitious presidential election, although his numbers have dwindled in the latest polls released in September.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday October Friday.

But the declared candidates can still withdraw, and can be replaced by another candidate till November 15.

Duterte-Carpio remains curious as to whether he will actually run.

On Saturday, he submitted his papers for re-election as mayor of Davao, the political stronghold of Duterte. At the same time, in recent weeks, his supporters have been putting up large-scale banners with his picture across the country, despite election bans.

In suspense, Robredo Covid-1 has significantly increased criticism of the Duterte administration’s “lack of attention and leadership” in response to the pandemic epidemic, which is emerging as a major problem among the country’s more than 64 million registered voters.

He also called the misuse of billions of dollars in government funds to buy medical equipment “unforgivable.”

“How can these people sleep at night? There are many Filipinos who are suffering. Yet all they can think of is extortion, ”he said in a radio interview, referring to the accused, who are linked to the president.

Long road ahead

But Robredo’s path to the presidency is not easy.

The latest poll conducted by Pulse Asia Polling found that Duterte-Carpio is ahead, Roberto is behind five potential presidential candidates. Compared to the results of the July election, however, he has doubled his support in the metro Manila and the central Visayas region.

In 2016, when the still-unknown Robredo was elected vice-president carrying the criteria of the previous administration, he was also voting in single digits and lagged far behind several other rivals.

But in the end, Robredo defeated Marcos Jr., a popular and well-funded senator.

“Lenny had a new baby in the block. There was a lot of curiosity about her. Those who met her for the first time wanted to vote for her. Of course, she worked hard. For her achievement, she ran and fell to the ground,” said the veteran journalist. Fe Zamora told Al Jazeera.

The difference is that he is running as an opposition candidate who was defeated by a goal in the mid-term elections in the year 201. In that year, 12 senator candidates of the opposition were defeated by Duterte’s allies. He is the current vice president and has been in the public eye for more than five years.

His hostility to many of Duterte’s policies made Robredo the target of relentless political and personal attacks on social media by the president’s allies, which damaged his popularity.

The legitimacy of his victory was also questioned by Marx, who lost by a narrow margin of more than 200,000 votes. The case went to the Supreme Court, which dismissed Marcos’ allegations, but the ongoing legal battle left Robredo politically wounded.

“Marcos and [Duterte] Camps have been haunting Romero since 2016 to prevent his political base, ”Zamora said.

But Anna Blanco, a certified public accountant and leader of a group of professionals who support Robredo, says the vice president’s track record could help him overcome the vote deficit once the campaign begins.

“From what we’ve seen, how he has shaped himself, and what he’s done over the last five years, he has the credentials and character to be the next president,” Blanco, from Mindanao, told Al Jazeera.

‘She grew up in the office’

A relatively young politician, Lobredo first ran for public office in 2015 after the death of her husband, who was the country’s interior minister.

Robredo served only one term as a member of the House of Representatives and was considered unknown before being tapped as vice president in 2016. His party’s candidate for the top post lost to Duterte.

As vice president, Robredo briefly headed the government’s housing and development agency, but was forced to resign after Duterte’s cabinet removed him from the meeting.

In 2019, he also served on a government anti-drug council, asking for help after Duterte repeatedly criticized his bloody crackdown. Only 18 days later he fired her.

Duterte’s deadly war on drugs is now under investigation by the International Criminal Court.

Robredo said the campaign against the drug violated the human rights of many poor suspects and failed to follow the big time suppliers.

Due to his criticism, Duterte’s allies in Congress cut his office budget, leaving him with limited financial resources to run.

But that did not stop him from raising funds for his program, said Jess Lorenzo, convener of the movement supporting Robredo’s candidacy.

Lorenzo said last year the vice president’s office raised 2 million to help families affected by the epidemic.

“It tells me that he is a leader who has the confidence of the people. He is a leader who will take the trust given to him to a hand crisis,” he told Al Jazeera.

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