Leni OKs team-up with Mar
NAGA CITY—Leni is it—finally.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo has agreed to be the running mate of former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party (LP), three highly placed sources from the administration party said Sunday.
Robredo is scheduled to be proclaimed today by President Aquino as the LP vice presidential candidate at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, according to two sources, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to talk about the team-up.
It was at Club Filipino where Roxas was anointed by the President on July 31 as the LP standard-bearer.
Robredo decided not to make public her decision earlier because Mr. Aquino will announce today (Monday) not only the vice presidential candidate but also the senatorial slate of the administration party, the sources said. The event will start at 9 a.m.
Robredo’s decision, however, is already known to her allies in Naga City, part of her congressional district. About 40 of her supporters left Naga on a rented bus past 6 p.m. on Sunday to attend her proclamation at Club Filipino.
An invitation sent to LP members for them to attend the gathering, however, did not state that Robredo would announce that she had accepted the offer to be Roxas’ running mate.
“Good day Fellow Liberals! We would like to invite you po for our Gathering of Friends, tomorrow Oct. 5, 8 a.m. at Club Filipino, Greenhills. Please confirm your attendance. Thank you,” was the text message the LP sent to its members, the source said.
Asked if the announcement for Robredo’s vice presidential run would push through as planned this morning, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., a party stalwart, said, “I believe so.”
The proclamations were supposed to have been held on Sept. 30, but the LP postponed it for another date after Robredo said she was not yet ready to make a decision.
On Sunday morning, Robredo talked to her three daughters and settled with them her decision to accept the offer, the sources said.
The widow of Jesse Robredo, a former interior secretary and multiawarded mayor of Naga who died in a plane crash three years ago, had been wooed by Roxas and Mr. Aquino for several months to make the Roxas-Robredo team-up possible.
In an interview last week, Robredo said she needed more time to discuss the offer with her daughters and to seek spiritual guidance. She had expressed reluctance to run for Vice President due to her inexperience, low awareness rating and her children’s objections.
Last week, the lawmaker went to Naga to consult allies. “Whether it is for Vice President or senator, it does not mean 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,” Robredo told them.
The Roxas-Robredo tandem now leaves only Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also seeking the presidency, without a running mate. Binay and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are still in talks on the possibility of a Binay-Marcos tandem.
Last month, Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero announced their team in the presidential and vice presidential races.
Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV—both of the Nacionalista Party (NP)—are seeking the vice presidency. Should Marcos (also an NP member) be Binay’s running mate, there will be five major candidates for the position.
Robredo earned a degree in economics in 1986 from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She took up law at University of Nueva Caceres in Naga, passing the bar in 1997. With a report from DJ Yap in Manila