LIBERAL Party (LP) stalwarts led by President Benigno Aquino 3rd and members of the Cabinet will fly to Naga City (Camarines Sur) on Tuesday in “full force” to convince Rep. Leni Robredo to be the running mate of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, a well-placed source said on Sunday.
The source added that Aquino and Roxas’ group will make the “final push” to get Robredo to run for vice president next year after the supposed breakdown of talks with Sen. Grace Poe and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto.
“They tried Poe, [they got]busted. Then Santos, but she was not interested. They are now placing their last card on Robredo. We can expect an announcement there or soon after,” the source said.
“If the President will fly to Naga City, then that’s it. Ask Palace officials,” he added.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda confirmed that Aquino will be flying to Naga to attend the commemoration of the third death anniversary of Jesse Robredo, husband of Rep. Robredo.
The former Interior secretary died in a plane crash in 2012.
When asked if LP leaders have made up their minds on Rep. Robredo to run with Roxas to form the “Ro-Ro” tandem, Lacierda, however, gave a vague response.
“The balls are all up in the air,” he said.
“The purpose for going there is for the President and Jesse’s fellow Cabinet secretaries to commemorate his death anniversary. How it is viewed by others is entirely up to their interpretation,” the Palace official added.
But according to The Manila Times source, the LP has given up hope on Poe agreeing to their terms and run with Roxas.
He said Roxas has to find a running mate before the next results of the polls are made public.
“They are growing desperate to find a running mate. The tandem must be announced before the third quarter survey,” the source added.
By all indications, Poe is determined to run for President, alongside her fellow senator, Francis Escudero, as her vice presidential running mate.
Big political parties and political groups such as the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) prefer Poe over Roxas and vowed majority support for the senator’s candidacy once she decided to run.
On the other hand, Robredo, who represents Camarines Sur at the House of Representatives, is yet to make up her mind in seeking higher elective office, saying she is more focused on seeking reelection.
But the legislator said she keeps an “open mind” about the LP offer.
Several civil society groups and various personalities led by the Kaya Natin Movement last week launched the ‘’Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement’’ at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.
In a previous interview, Robredo said she talked to Roxas about a month ago regarding the 2016 polls but the discussion revolved around her possible Senate run.
Besides Poe, Santos-Recto and Robredo, the LP was also eyeing Sen. Alan Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party as Roxas’ possible running mate.