President Fidel Ramos has reaffirmed his support to the vice presidential run of Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
Ramos, who served as President of the country from 1992 to 1998, noted that Leni’s husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, “was a good friend, tireless campaigner and model local government unit (LGU) official—overall a key stalwart of the Ramos Administration.”
Before his appointment by President Benigno Aquino 3rd as Interior Secretary, Robredo was the mayor of Naga City from 1988 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2010.
Robredo was named a Ramon Magsaysay awardee for Good Governance in 2000 for transforming Naga City from a dormant municipality to being among Asiaweek’s Most Improved Cities in Asia in 1999.
He died in a plane crash in August 2012.
Ramos, in a letter to The Manila Times, said his support to Leni’s candidacy “was sincerely given, with no expectation of rewards or favors.”
A day before the start of the 90-day campaign, the lawmaker visited the former president in his office in Makati City.
In that meeting, Ramos shared his campaign experience in 1992 and offered Leni some advice on how to woo voters.
They also had their photo taken, with FVR raising Leni’s hand, which was circulated in social media, fueling reports that the former leader had given his support to the Camarines lawmaker.
However, a source from the camp of Ramos had claimed that the circulation of the photo of the former president with Leni was part of the latter’s “PR spin.”
“While FVR and Congressman Leni were meeting, her enterprising PR person already had a ready media release and just waited for the usual photo opportunity with the former President. Soon after the photo opportunity of FVR and Cong. Leni, her media handler immediately released it to the mainstream media,” said the source, one of Ramos’ senior aides.
“As a senior statesman and former president, FVR is sought and consulted for his wisdom and experience. Other presidential and vice presidential candidates in the past and among the present crop of aspirants have paid him a courtesy call to include Senators Grace Poe and (Francis) Chiz Escudero who already visited him twice for a wide array of consultation,” the source said.