LP: There is no Plan B; it’s Leni Robredo or bust
The Liberal Party (LP) has no “Plan B” for a running mate for its standard-bearer, Mar Roxas, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon, the LP vice chair.
The hesitating Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is the party’s only choice for vice presidential candidate, Drilon said.
And Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who has announced he is running for Vice President, is no longer an option, he added.
“We have no Plan B,” Drilon said in a radio interview.
Roxas himself said Thursday that the LP had already come up with a complete lineup of candidates for the vice presidential and senatorial races in 2016.
“I think it’s already complete. It’s good. You will know on Monday,” he told reporters after presiding over the oath-taking in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, of 80 local officials who joined the LP.
Roxas said seven senatorial candidates will come from the LP while the rest will come from its coalition partners.
Asked if he had spoken to Robredo, Roxas said the media should just wait for the party’s official announcement. But he said he would be speaking to Robredo again before Monday.
Drilon noted that Cayetano has been wooing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be his partner in 2016. “So I think Roxas-Cayetano is out of the picture,” said Drilon, who had earlier mentioned Cayetano as a potential running mate for Roxas.
But the LP’s top choice in the vice presidential race, since dropping efforts to woo Sen. Grace Poe, has been Robredo.
The LP continues to believe in Robredo, said Drilon.
“Leni was asked to be the vice presidential candidate because in our view, she is the model of good governance, of the principle of ‘daang matuwid’ (straight path),” he said.
He noted that in the past, she had worked with her late husband, Jesse Robredo, a former Naga mayor and interior secretary, in helping the poor and in providing clean leadership.
LP president Joseph Abaya also said the party was focused on Robredo now.
“We’re hoping and praying for Representative Leni,” Abaya told Senate reporters.
Robredo should be given time to make up her mind, as the decision whether or not to run is personal for each candidate, Drilon said.
“Let us give Congresswoman Leni time to talk with her children,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Robredo arrived in Naga City very early on Thursday to seek guidance and prayers from religious groups and supporters on whether to accept or decline the Liberal Party offer.
Robredo had breakfast with Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of the Archdiocese of Caceres at the Bishop’s Palace. They had a 45-minute closed-door meeting.
Emerging from the meeting, Tirona and Robredo were both smiling, but did not give details. Asked what they talked about, Tirona said it was “guidance and prayer.”
Robredo apologized to Tirona for involving him in the situation that she was going through.
Robredo’s next stop was the Missionary of the Poor (MOP), a religious institution dedicated to abandoned persons in Cararayan, Naga City.
Fr. Lawrence Mendoza, MOP regional supervisor, convened the priests and volunteer brothers to pray over Robredo.
“Every time our family is confronted with big and important decisions, we always seek guidance and prayer, that’s why I am here,” Robredo said.
In an interview, Robredo disclosed that her three daughters were afraid for her because she would be handling a much bigger responsibility when she was “just new in politics.”
“My daughters understand that there is a bigger calling but there are things we still do not know in a situation like this,” she said.