UNDER PRESSURE?

Leni seeks late husband Jesse’s ‘help’

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LEGAZPI CIT, Albay: Is she now under pressure to ditch her plan to run for senator and gun for the vice presidency?

Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo on Thursday posted a picture of her husband, the late good- governance icon Jesse Robredo, with an accompanying cryptic caption that says, “Can I use a lifeline just for today?”

Some had interpreted Robredo’s message as indicative of her being pressed to agree to team up with administration party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd.

The 51-year-old lawmaker shot to prominence after her husband, then the secretary of the Interior, was killed in a plane crash in August 2012.


In the 2013 elections, she defeated Nelly Favis Villafuerte, wife of long-time governor and congressman Luis Villafuerte, by a landslide.

Robredo has been floated as a potential running mate for Roxas even while President Benigno Aquino 3rd and the Liberal Party were said to be pursuing Sen. Grace Poe.

A movement clamoring for a Robredo draft was also launched but the lawmaker said she is not taking the move seriously because she is not confident to take on the position.

In recent interviews, Robredo had said she is entertaining the possibility of joining the senatorial race but not the vice presidency.

Should Robredo say yes to the LP draft, she will be facing a fellow Bicolano lawmaker–Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who hails from Sorsogon province.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, meanwhile, said it would not be good to have two Bicolanos fighting for one national post. He added that this would divide the Bicolano vote.

“Chiz runs for VP of Grace. That trumps Leni since it is not good for a Bicolano to fight another Bicolano unless it involves game-changing reasons,” Salceda said.

“Definitely, whether you like it or not, Bicolanos will vote for another Bicolano.
Non-Bicolano candidates can only mitigate the impact,” the regional chairman of the LP added.

Former Tiwi town councilor Ding Velasco, however, said Bicol will not be split between the two as the region would throw its support behind Robredo.

The Liberal Party will hold a convention by month’s end to affirm Roxas’ candidacy and select his running mate.

According to Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, the party’s vice president for political affairs, the LP’s National Executive Council (NECO) will convene on September 28.

“We will have our candidate in time for our convention on September 28,” Erice said in a text message.

He earlier said aside from Poe, the LP is considering Robredo, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to become Roxas’ running mate.

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