Robredo decision to run because of constituents’ supportBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — There was little time to think but lawyer Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, said she based her decision to run for a congressional seat Thursday on the encouragement given to her by supporters.
In a press conference aired over television Friday after filing her certificate of candidacy to represent the third district of Camarines Sur under the support of the Liberal Party, her husband’s party, Robredo said that while her three daughters may not understand it at first, the decision to join politics came as a way to balance personal interests with those of the public.
“Until this morning hindi ko alam na tatakbo ako. Parang masama ang loob ng mga anak ko na naitulak kami sa isang corner. Sabi ng mga anak ko may choice pa rin kami pero sabi ko… dugo at pawis ang ibinigay ng asawa ko para sa group (LP), he spent 19 years with this party, and it is too small a price to pay yung isakripisyo ang sarili,” she said, admitting that she expected criticisms after maintaining that she had no interest in politics and yet deciding during the last day of the filing of the COCs to run.
“Naisip ko na maraming babatikos sa akin. Until now hindi ko alam kung tama pero sana tama ang aking desisyon,” Robredo added, recalling telling her daughters that they will understand when they come home to Naga and see the overwhelming support that she has received from its people.
Her youngest daughter, Jillian, was reported to have tagged along with her to the Comelec office, holding Robredo’s COC.
Radio reports said Robredo arrived at the Comelec office with a throng of supporters clad in yellow.
Earlier in the day, Naga City vice mayor Gabby Bordado, who was supposed to run as congressman in the third district of Camarines Sur, decided to endorse Robredo instead, upon which employees of the city hall trooped to her home to urge her to run in the midterm elections.
Robredo, chairperson of the LP in Camarines Sur, said that until this morning she had her mind set on campaigning for Bordado.
Leni, who had just arrived from Manila, was surprised by the request for her to run.
The Liberal Party had chosen Bordado to run for representative over former Solicitor General Anselmo Joel Cadiz. On Wednesday, however, Cadiz filed his COC as an independent candidate for the third district.
On September 22, Leni assumed chairmanship of LP in Camarines Sur, which was left vacant by the sudden death of her husband. She accepted the post upon the prodding of President Benigno Aquino III and Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas.
Robredo will be up against the wife of Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte Sr., Nelly, who will be running for governor after his third term as congressman.
Robredo said that she knew there were other ways in which she could uphold the principles which were espoused by her husband but felt that she was also joining politics in his honor. “Hindi ako magbibingi-bingihan sa pagkakataon na makagawa ng positive changes.”
She added it was just unfortunate that she was not given enough time to think her decision through. “Supporters ang nagasikaso ng COC, hindi ko alam kung saan nila nakuha ang picture ko. Hindi ako nabigyan ng pagkakataon na pagisipan ito.”
With a report from Juan Escandor Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon