By Katrina Domingo | ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Presidential aspirant and former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Thursday welcomed Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision to run for president in the 2022 national elections, seen as a renewal of their rivalry that began in the 2016 polls.
Robredo defeated Marcos in the vice presidential race in 2016, and also won several recounts requested by the camp of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos' son.
"Expected naman natin ‘yun eh. It’s not surprising. Hindi nakakagulat dahil matagal na niyang sinasabi na kung tatakbo ako, tatakbo rin siya," Marcos said in a press conference in his bailiwick Ilocos Norte.
(We expected that. It's not surprising. It's not surprising because she earlier said that she will run if I run.)
The former senator said having more presidential candidates would be "good for a healthy democracy."
"Maraming kandidato, maganda ‘yan para maraming pagpipilian ang tao," he said.
(It is better for our people to have more candidates to choose from.)
"We can give a whole range of choices as to policy, ideology, plans for the future, mas maganda ‘yung maraming iba’t ibang pinopropose para may pagpipilian ang tao (it is better to have different proposals to choose from)," he said.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is also vying for the presidency, said that he and his candidate for vice president - Senate President Vicente Sotto III - have agreed to "rise on [their] own merits, and not to comment on [their] political rivals in the May 2022 elections."
"We will focus only on presenting ourselves and our competencies to the electorate in an effort to get elected based on our own strengths, and not on the deficiencies of the others," Lacson said in a statement.
"We will raise the level of discourse of the campaign and deal with issues rather than personalities," he said.
"We intend to keep it that way, even as we encourage our supporters to follow our lead," he said.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso - 2 other presidential aspirants - have yet to comment on Robredo's bid.
Robredo will reportedly run with Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan as her vice president.