Leni Robredo: I’ll help, not runBy Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY—The widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has promised to help the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2013 election campaign but only as a “transitional figure” to finish party matters started by her husband in this city and in Camarines Sur.
“I have no plans to enter politics and I would prefer to be a regional trial court judge. There are so many ways to serve the public without entering politics,” lawyer Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said at a press conference here Thursday.
The Judicial Bar Council (JBC) has included Robredo in the short list of candidates for RTC judge in Bicol. She put in an application for the post last year, saying it was a government position she believed she was qualified for.
She said she had informed President Benigno Aquino, the LP chairman, and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, another LP leader, about her decision not to go into politics.
She said Mr. Aquino had talked to her mainly to find out how she and her family were coping with the loss of Jesse. He also sought her thoughts about getting into politics.
“I know they will understand… That is what I feel today, though I don’t know what circumstance will make me change my decision,” she said.
She said her primary concern was to get her children settled in their normal routine so they could move on, even as she herself still had to privately grieve over the loss of her husband.
She said she and her three children promised to continue being active in Jesse’s causes, such as good governance and helping the urban poor.
According to Robredo, her middle daughter, Patricia, who is in medical school, appears to be inclined towards politics, but she has advised her to become a doctor first. If any of them would eventually wish to enter politics, it should be on their own merits and not because of their father’s name, she said.
Robredo said she would help the LP in Camarines Sur but only in the selection of the candidate for congressman for the third district of Camarines Sur
“What had been the commitment of my husband to them I will honor,” she said.
She said Jesse had told her that the LP candidate for the district was a tossup between incumbent Naga City Vice Mayor Gabriel Bordado and former Solicitor General Anselmo Cadiz, both of whom are close to the family.
She stressed that she will have no hand in the final selection of LP candidates for local posts even as she admitted that she would be endorsing Councilor Nelson Legacion as the running mate of reelectionist Naga Mayor John Bongat. Jesse had endorsed Bongat as his successor after a 19-year stint as city chief executive.