Camarines Rep. Leni Robredo is reluctant to accept the offer of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd to be his running mate in next year’s elections because she fears that her rival political clan–the Villafuertes– may lord it over her turf for good.
“She’s afraid that the Villafuertes may benefit politically once she decided to seek higher office either as senator or Vice President. That’s the only thing that worries her now and her fears are valid,” said a local official who is very close to Robredo.
According to the official, the widow of Jesse Robredo is apprehensive that a run for the Senate or the vice presidency will leave Camarines vulnerable to the Villafuertes’ return to power.
Robredo ran against Nelly Villafuerte, wife of former Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, in 2013.
Running under the Liberal Party (LP), she won by a landslide, garnering 102,694 votes against Villafuerte’s 31,364.
But another local official, Cabiao (Nueva Ecija) Mayor Gloria Crespo Congco, who is actively pushing for Robredo to run for higher office, said the lawmaker may accede to run with Roxas if the party will not be able to find Roxas’ running mate in time.
“Our movement believes that she should run either for the Senate or as Secretary Mar’s VP [Vice President]. She can perform best in any of the two posts by adopting her late husband’s tsinelas [slippers]style of leadership,” Congco told The Manila Times in an interview.
A member of Kaya Natin, the lead convenor of the Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement launched last week, she claimed that Roxas remains hopeful that he can convince Sen. Grace Poe to run with him.
“He said he will give Senator Poe more time to decide and he’s not giving up hope,” the mayor said.
Roxas was in Laguna province on Monday to distribute 204 patrol jeeps. In an interview after the event, he said he had formally asked Poe to be his running mate.
The Manila Times, citing informed sources, reported on Monday that the Cabinet and LP stalwarts will fly to Naga City (capital of Camarines Sur) in “full force” Tuesday to convince Robredo to accept their offer.
In a statement released also on Monday, Lacierda said Aquino and some Cabinet officials will visit the tomb of Jesse Robredo at the Eternal Gardens in Naga City on Tuesday.
The then-Interior chief died in a plane crash off Masbate province in August 2012.
Vilma not interested
Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos Recto also said that she is not interested in running for vice president.
Banners proclaiming a Mar-Vi tandem have sprouted around the provincial capitol of Batangas and in municipal halls around the province but Recto said she has not received any formal offer from the Liberal Party for her to be the running mate of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.
The governor, an actress, is called Ate (Big Sister) Vi by her fans.
But Recto said she is not interested to run for Vice President or for a Senate post.
“No formal talks. Nababasa ko lang yan at napapanood. [I only read about that or see it on TV]. But [I have] no plans for that position, no ambition and [I am] not interested. I thank all those who are considering me if there are any. But no formal talks,” she said in a text message.
The governor reiterated her desire to continue serving the people of Batangas, and that she may run for representative of the newly-approved lone district of Lipa City where she served as mayor for nine years before becoming governor of the province.
“I may consider Congress, but nothing is final yet. I like serving the people of Batangas, 18 years din akong pinagkatiwalaan [For 18 years, the people have given me their trust.],” she said.
Recto earlier disclosed that she is also not discounting the possibility of running for mayor of Lipa next year.
“I may consider running for mayor, why not?” she said in an event last week.