Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said voters’ registration should be the priority instead of candidates to run in the 2022 elections even as he denied that Vice-president Leni Robredo will run for Camarines Norte Governor. 

“We’ll know soon enough by October who will really run. But for now, the focus should be on encouraging more people to register to vote,” Pangilinan said when asked about former senator Antonio Trillanes’s announcement of a possible run for president.

Pangilinan, who is Liberal Party president with  Robredo as party chairperson, said: “Number one, VP Leni has denied that she will run for governor. Number two,  (former) senator Trillanes clarified he is going to pursue it if  Vice-president Leni decides not to. For me, let’s wait and see.”

Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said around 2.8 million new voters have already registered. Earlier, Comelec announced a goal of four million new voters for 2022.

“By Comelec’s target, at least 1.2 million new voters still need to register. That’s around 12,300 new registrants every day until the deadline, excluding weekends and holidays,” Pangilinan said.

“This is all the more reason we should ramp up our Covid response to test, trace, isolate,” said Pangilinan. “The 2022 elections, after all, will elect leaders who will see us through post-pandemic recovery,” he added.

Comelec offices have accepted voter registrants from Mondays to Fridays since May 10. Previously, Comelec was only open until Thursdays. Comelec also reopened their satellite registration sites, which are operational until Saturday. Voter’s registration ends on September 30.