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Leni says she’s still in love with Jesse

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 01:04 AM November 06, 2016
Vice President Leni Robredo (center)with the townsfolk of Agutaya, Palawan province, which is targeted for social development

Vice President Leni Robredo (center) with the townsfolk of Agutaya, Palawan province, which is targeted for social development.

Vice President Leni Robredo is in love—with her late husband, Jesse, whom she remembers and honors not only on All Souls’ Day but every single day.

“I really think I’ve had enough love from Jesse to last me a lifetime. I don’t think I’ll ever be in a romantic relationship again,” Robredo told the Inquirer on Friday.

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Robredo has recently been linked to a Quezon City local official whom she had once cited in a Facebook post as one of her “five lifesavers”  for having helped her during the rigorous vice presidential campaign.

Along with Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, Robredo also named as lifesavers her three daughters—Aika, Tricia, and Jillian.

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The family braved the rains on Oct. 31 to visit the late Interior Secretary’s grave in Naga City, a ritual they’ve observed since his tragic passing four years ago.

All four Robredo women wore their identical gold pendants, with Jesse’s ashes resting delicately on their hearts. To this day, the Vice President wears her wedding ring.

Presence felt

Robredo said her husband remains a strong and loving force behind her as she gives flesh to her campaign promise to reach out to the poorest of the poor.

In Naga, she told reporters that Jesse often makes his presence felt to her.

“I didn’t actively participate in his work but now, it’s as if I know what to do. I think it’s him. I’ve made many decisions with his guidance. I think I inherited from him the attitude of choosing [my] battles,” Robredo said.

But strong-willed as she is, the second highest official of the land is also a woman who lost the love of her life.

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“This is a very difficult world to be in and every day, I wish that Jesse were here,” she said.

“It’s always a battle between feeling blessed that I have been given the chance to continue where (my husband) left off, and asking him why he left us so soon,” she added.

“The latter hits me when the going gets really tough,” the widow said.

Four months since assuming office, Robredo continues her weekly “laylayan activities” that has her and her staff visiting communities in dire need of government attention.

Over the weekend, the Vice President visited underserved towns in Palawan province and shared on her Facebook page her first visit to Agutaya, a 5th class municipality in the “tiny” north Palawan islands on Friday. On Saturday, she was in Culion.

Angat Buhay Program

Robredo said Agutaya is one of the 50 local government units included in her flagship Angat Buhay Program, meant to speed up social development.

“But because of its distance (it’s a 10-hour boat ride from Coron), it lacks the most basic facilities—no electricity, a run-down school, no fully functioning health center, etc. The main means of livelihood is fishing. But it is threatened by illegal fishing, the people’s inability to fish during amihan season, and very low prices for their catch. It was badly hit by [Supertyphoon] “Yolanda” three years ago and has yet to recover from its devastation. We hope to gather as much help as we can for it from both the government and private sectors,” Robredo added.

As a political outsider belonging to the Liberal Party, Robredo tries to maintain a professional working relationship with the administration.  Despite that, she has not been spared from vicious rumors spread by her political opponents.

Among them was a post on social media alleging that Robredo had met in Peru with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to plot President Duterte’s ouster.

She constantly strives to take the high road, banking on her husband’s spirit to guide her, she said. “It’s really a nasty world to be in but I know that Jesse lives in me so everything is going to be okay,” Robredo said.

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TAGS: Angat Buhay program, Jesse Robredo, Leni Robredo
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