FOR now, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo has no plans to run for the Senate in 2016. But that doesn’t mean she has completely ruled it out.
Robredo, the widow of widely popular Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, said she has learned that opportunities to serve the public cannot be turned down that easily.
“Ayoko magsalita ng tapos (I can’t speak too soon). If I was my former self, I would have said, definitely, I am not running. But I have ended up eating my words.,”Robredo told The Manila Times with a smile.
She recalled that in the 2013 elections, “I even said in an interview two days before the filing of candidacy that I am 200 percent sure that I won’t run, but when the time came, there I was, filing my candidacy.”
A lawyer by profession, Robredo was thrown into the spotlight after her husband died in a plane crash in August 2012.
She was initially reluctant about venturing into politics since she has to look after her family and was waiting for her appointment as a judge in their hometown of Naga City to come through. But disputes between the congressional contenders of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in Camarines Sur and the huge public clamor for her husband’s brand of public service convinced her to run.
It turned out to be a good decision. Robredo defeated Nelly Villafuerte, the wife of former Camarines Sur congressman, Luis Villafuerte Sr., and mother of former Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymond Villafuerte, by at least 70,000 votes.
“I don’t have plans [to run for the Senate]for now, but I can’t say what will it be in the future. Since my husband died, I have been on a total surrender [on what life would bring],” Robredo said.
The LP has yet to ask her to run for Senate since the party was focused on the Freedom of Information law and the Bangsamoro Basic law.
Robredo’s name was floated by Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, LP’s chief for Political Affairs.
“I am not aware that I was being considered [to run for the Senate]. The party has not approached me about it. If you ask me how do I prepare for that [Senate run], I will tell you that there’s no preparation. There have been invitations [outside my district]and I do go, but beyond that, there’s nothing,” she said.
“My constituents know how hard I work in the district and so they get anxious if they hear reports that I am running for the Senate. It would be unfair to them if I prepare for larger constituency at their expense,” Robredo added.
She said she was not considered by the LP for its Senate slate in 2013. “There are people from other political parties who approached me and said I should run for the Senate [in 2013], but nobody from the LP made the offer and so there’s no truth that I rejected any offer,” Robredo said.