Is the administration party one step closer to finally finding a running mate for its standard-bearer, Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd?
President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday revealed he has formally offered the vice presidential slot of the Liberal Party (LP) to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
Speaking to reporters during his visit to Apayao province, Aquino said he also met two of Robredo’s daughters–Trisha and Aika–to also convince them why their mother was being eyed to vie for the nation’s second top-most elective position.
Robredo in a television interview said whatever that decision may be, her children will remain her priority.
“Hindi ko pwedeng unahin yung political ambitions over ‘yung mga obligasyon ko sa mga anak ko kaya sa akin praktikal lang ako [I cannot prioritize my political ambitions over my obligation to my children. I’m just being practical],” she said.
The LP is now training its sights on Leni, widow of good governance icon Jesse Robredo, after Aquino’s original choice for the position, Sen. Grace Poe, refused the offer and declared that she is gunning for Malacañang with Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero as running mate.
Robredo was initially floated as a possible alternative to Poe in August after a series of meetings to try to convince the senator to forego her political ambitions ended in deadlock.
Aside from Robredo, the LP was reportedly also considering Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th.
“Kahapon nagkaroon kami ng pagpupulong… Maganda ang usapan. ‘Yung mga palaisipan, ibinahagi sa atin ni Leni [We had a meeting yesterday and we had a good discussion. Leni shared her thoughts on the idea],” Aquino said.
Joining them in the meeting were Roxas, and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman.
Aquino said another meeting has been set with the Robredo family.
The President added that he understood the apprehensions of the Robredos, considering that she and her daughters were still adjusting to living their life without the head of their family, Jesse, who was killed in a plane crash in 2012.
Jesse was replaced by Roxas as Interior secretary.
“We’ll sit down and talk again to clear the air. We’ll set the expectations and tell her again why we now favor her to become our Vice President,” the President said in Filipino.
Aquino added that Robredo would be an ideal partner for Roxas in continuing the “daang matuwid [straight path]” platform of the ruling Liberal Party because of her “positive image.”
“If you’re looking for somebody who is not in the mold of a traditional politician, isn’t it that we find that face in Leni Robredo?
“She has demonstrated a lot of commendable traits and we want to take that with us, with Mar, in the campaign and if they succeed, we’ll have a truly one team that would put on fast track all the reforms we have put in place,” the President said.
He likened Robredo to her mother, the late former president Corazon Aquino whose inexperience was made into a campaign issue in 1986.
Robredo, a lawyer, had said she is not qualified to aspire for the vice presidency as she lacks experience in public administration.
In an earlier interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel, she brushed aside being compared to the late president.
“Aside from the fact that we’re both widows, I pale in comparison to her. I’m so out of her league,” Robredo said.
She added that she will likely decide on her 2016 plans by the end of the month, when survey results are expected to be released.
Robredo said she will only run for Vice President if she is convinced that no one else can do the job.