Leni Robredo’s body language, words show VP intent
NAGA CITY, Philippines—When Camarines Sur Rep. Leni G. Robredo visited her mother Sally Gerona in their ancestral home in this city at past 8 p.m. on Thursday, the first thing she was told was to accept Mar Roxas’ offer to be the Liberal Party’s (LP) vice presidential candidate so the waiting would be over.
Robredo narrated the 20-minute visit to her 79-year-old mother to a small group of supporters while having dinner in a restaurant here before boarding a bus going back to Manila, after a whirlwind of consultations in this city and in the towns of Ocampo, Calabanga, Canaman and Pili, all in the third district of Camarines Sur.
She arrived here at past 5 a.m. on Thursday by bus, “to seek guidance and prayers” from religious groups and supporters on whether to accept or decline the LP’s offer for her to run as Roxas’ vice president.
Around 7 p.m., Robredo met some 40 key LP members, composed of incumbent officials and those who plan to run for elective local positions in the 2016 elections at the grave of her late husband Jesse M. Robredo at the Eternal Gardens.
“Whether it is for vice president or senator, it does not mean that I am leaving you. I consider what will be good for everybody to make a decision. I know you understand that this chance will be good for all of us,” she said as her political allies cheered.
Robredo said that tomorrow, she would have a heart-to-heart with her three children for the last time about LP’s offer for her to run as vice president before announcing her final decision.
“What makes it difficult, I have to settle within my family my decision which is not yet settled completely. I consider all of you now as my family because whatever decision I will make is going to affect you,” she said.
Robredo said her decision would affect the dynamics of her relations with her political allies as well as their commitment to help her win a higher post once she finally decides.
“I am requesting all of you to assure our allies who are not here that all considerations were taken before I make a decision. I want to be comfortable that when I decide you are with me all the way,” she said.
Robredo said what added to her difficulty to decide were text messages and concerns from her local allies who are against her running for a higher post because of impressions that she would be turning her back from the third district of Camarines Sur, which was represented in Congress for nine years by Luis R. Villafuerte, the patriarch of the Villafuerte political clan.
But she said most of the messages she received from people outside of Camarines Sur were encouraging and pushing her to run for vice president.
“I skipped Congress session today to consult you and when I finally decide to pursue the fight I am depending on you,” Robredo said.
She advised her political allies here to persevere to win in their respective positions even as they also help her in the position she would be running for, which will be announced on Oct. 5.
Robredo said she would come back to Naga City next week, after the announcement of the LP on Monday, to work on the filing of her certificate of candidacy.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.