Robredo willing to be opposition leader

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Vice President Leni Robredo. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) — Vice President Leni Robredo said she is willing to unite all the opposition groups and be their leader.

"Parang matagal na naman na ni-take-on ko 'yung role na 'yun," she said in a press briefing Tuesday.

[Translation: It's like I've long since taken that role.]

The vice president said the independent groups sought her leadership.

"Ngayon, merong initiatives na 'yung iba't ibang grupong gumagalaw, magyu-unite. At hiningi ng mga grupong iyon if I can lead," she said.  "Ang sabi ko, oo, pero kailangang pag-usapan 'yung terms."

[Translation: Now there are initiatives of other groups uniting. And those groups are asking if I can lead. I said, yes, but the terms have to be discussed.]

Robredo said among their plans is crafting a united opposition slate, which she hopes will be formed by September in time for the filing of certificates of candidacy in October.

Asked if ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will join this slate, Robredo said the Sereno has yet to decide on it.

"Kailangan niya ng panahon para pag-isipan, kailangan niya ng panahon para mag-discern," she said.

[Translation: She needs time to think, to discern.]

She adds that the opposition groups have to still discuss their stand on several issues so that they can have one voice.  

"Mahirap kung lahat nagsasalita ng sabay-sabay, lalong hindi naririnig," she said.

[Translation: It's difficult if everyone talks at the same time. Nothing will be heard.]

The vice president has been critical of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Her dissent from some of the President's policies has led to her ouster from the Cabinet in November 2016.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it is expected for Robredo to lead the opposition.

"Vice President Leni Robredo's decision to lead the opposition movement against the Duterte administration is hardly surprising.  After all, she is the highest elected member of the opposition," he said in a statement.

He said Malacañang believes an active opposition is vital to democracy, adding they hope the opposition will challenge the government critically to provide an alternative to the public.

"We expect that the opposition movement would not only promote responsible and constructive debate to push the national conversation to a higher level of political maturity, but also present to our people a viable alternative platform of government to address the longstanding problems of the nation," Roque said.