Ex-Solgen Hilbay quits Aksyon Demokratiko, backs Robredo

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — Florin Hilbay resigned from Aksyon Demokratiko “out of ethical considerations,” the former solicitor general said Monday.

Hilbay, a senatorial candidate of the political party in 2019, said he respected the group's decision to pick Manila Mayor Isko Moreno as its standard bearer for next year’s polls. He, however, added that he believes Vice President Leni Robredo is a “much better candidate in this most crucial of elections.”

He added the country needs a president “who will confront problems not with publicity stunts to manipulate Filipinos but with honest-to-goodness attempts at solutions.”

“We do not need more of the same, or even less of the same. We can’t afford another narcissistic, gas lighting troll for a president,” Hilbay said.

Moreno earlier drew criticism for calling Robredo a “fake leader with a fake color,” referring to her choice of pink instead of her Liberal Party’s signature yellow. Robredo earlier said the mayor's stand on the Marcoses prompted her to run for president.

“She is a president who understands why the Marcoses are a current threat; she will hold Duterte and his cronies accountable for their crimes; she will stand up to China and not see the West Philippine Sea as merely for sale,” said Hilbay..

Hilbay was a member of the legal team that secured the arbitral victory against China over a maritime dispute.

Meanwhile, Aksyon Demokratiko said it is gaining more support from the people.

“While Aksyon may have lost a good member in the former solicitor-general, we gained thousands of members that will contest the 2022 elections belonging to different and bigger political parties,” said Aksyon Demokratiko secretary general Ernest Ramel.

Ramel said the party has three senatorial aspirants, namely, businessman Carl Balita, former Quezon City councilor Jopet Sison, and Samira Gutoc — Hilbay’s fellow Otso Diretso candidate in 2019.

CNN Philippines correspondent Paolo Barcelon contributed to this report.