De Lima’s initial reaction, upon hearing of this development was: “This is soooo weird. And malevolent.”
She added: “Hindi umubra yung red-tagging kay VP Leni na ginawa ng isa sa kanila. Eto naman at nag-sanib pwersa sila sa walang katuturan na pagbatikos kay VP Leni. What were they thinking? What a pathetic bunch!”
“Akala ba nila dahil sa pasko ng pagkabuhay ginawa ang presscon nila ay babangon din mula sa patay ang kanilang mga kandidatura?” De Lima asked in a Tweet.
“Bakit kasalanan ni VP @lenirobredo kung nabalahaw ang inyong mga kampanya? Tapatan ninyo ng sarili ninyong sipag, huwag ng mga reklamo na parang mga maliliit na batang kinawawa. You are like children crying over candy that was not even yours in the first place,” she added.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, joined by other presidential candidates Mayor Isko Moreno and former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales in a press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel last April 17, said that “hopefully more Filipinos be enlightened that there are a lot of choices and not just two.”
Gonzales who served under Gloria Arroyo’s administration reportedly said, “If we really want to replace the number one in the surveys, maybe we should change the number two player and look at number three, four, five, six, and maybe, one of them can fight number one.”
Moreno, for his part, called for Robredo’s withdrawal from the race. He said Robredo should make the “supreme sacrifice” and “be a hero” by withdrawing her candidacy for the country’s top post, then offered themselves as alternative candidates.
Lacson, however, claimed that he is not part of the call for Robredo to withdraw from the presidential race, saying it was only Moreno’s decision.
The three who committed not to back down from the presidential race accused Robredo as the one behind the calls for their withdrawal.
De Lima maintained that they should not blame Robredo for their failure to win people’s hearts.
“Instead of blaming VP Leni for the misfortune of their candidacies, maybe the three presidential candidates who engaged in Leni-bashing should look into the inadequacies of their respective campaigns and their own failure to convince the people to choose them over VP Leni,” she said.
In an earlier statement, the lady Senator from Bicol stressed that the tandem of Robredo and running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan is the best combination for a dynamic, multi-sectoral and grassroots governance for the next six years.
“Alam ng mga nasa likod ng paninira kina VP Leni at Sen. Kiko ang pagdami ng mga sumusuporta sa kanilang tandem, kaya tinatangka na nila itong pigilan at pabagsakin. Pero lakas at puwersa ng taumbayan ang makakaharap nila, at taumbayan ang magtatagumpay,” she said.