Former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez may have criticized the administration’s COVID-19 response as a “failure”, but Vice President Leni Robredo does not think he could be part of the opposition.

leni - VP says it’s not likely ex-Speaker Alvarez will join opposition
Vice President Leni Robredo
(Photo by Charlie Villegas / OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo, chair of the once-ruling Liberal Party, said during her interview with Vanguard Radio Network, it would be difficult for Alvarez to join them in the opposition.

Robredo stressed the importance of their members sharing the same beliefs despite the reduced number of the opposition party.

“It is hard in the sense because of what happened with our party, we were decimated after the 2016 elections. There were many lessons. For example, we were a small party before, but it grew in numbers when President Aquino was elected,” she said in Filipino.

“But when he was no longer a president, another president came in, members of the party were gone. For me, that should be a lesson, and it’s not the number that makes a party great,” she added.

The past years saw the LP’s numbers massively dwindled, with its members jumping ship to President Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) since the latter won the 2016 presidential polls. Duterte and Alvarez are partymates.

The opposition party has focused instead on recruiting non-politician members. Robredo prefers to keep their numbers low as long as they share the same beliefs.

Robredo said she believed it’s the party’s principles that make it strong and not only the membership.

“For me, what we should always aim for when we invite members to join us, is to know if this person shares the same beliefs. Because if not, it could be not advisable to join with them,” Robredo said.

“Having alliances may be possible, but to be part of the party, the question would always be whether you share the same beliefs. I think that’s makes a party stronger; it’s not the numbers,” she stressed.

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