MANILA, Oct 5 (Mabuhay) – After weeks of arduous decision-making, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo on Monday said she was “wholly offering” herself to the public as the running mate of administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Speaking before more than a thousand LP members and representatives from civil society groups at Club Filipino, Robredo formally accepted the Liberal Party’s offer for her to be Roxas’ running mate in the May 2016 elections.
Robredo said she decided to accept the LP’s offer because she was certain her late husband would have agreed to sacrifice anything for the country.
“Hindi ako si Jesse ngunit noong namatay siya, maliwanag sa aming mag-iina na siya ay umaasa na sa abot ng aming makakaya ay susubukan naming magsakripisyo gaya ng kanyang pagsasakrpisyo para makapag-ambag sa ating bayan,” she said, referring to her late husband, former Naga City Mayor and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Robredo added, “Buong puso, buong pananampalataya, at buong tapat ko pong tinatanggap ang hamon na tumakbo bilang pangalawang pangulo ni Sec. Mar Roxas.”
In her speech, Robredo said she believes Roxas will continue the Daang Matuwid started by President Benigno Aquino III.
“Malinaw po sa akin na si Sec. Mar ang magpapatuloy sa ‘Daang Matuwid’ na sinimulan po ng administrasyon ng ating mahal na Pangulo,” she said.
Earlier, Roxas announced that Robredo will be his running mate in the coming 2016 polls, assuring her that everybody, including President Benigno Aquino III, would be behind her.
“Si Leni, tiyak swak na swak at sagad to the bones ang paniniwala sa Daang Matuwid,” Roxas said.
He acknowledged that it would not be easy for them but they will be backed by the “bosses.”
“Kaming lahat ay nasa likod mo, nasa likod natin si PNoy, at higit sa lahat nasa likod natin ang ating mga boss. Sa gabay ng Maykapal, magtatagumpay tayo,” he said.
But having Robredo to agree being Roxas’ running mate was not that easy.
Robredo earlier expressed reluctance to run for vice president due to her three daughter’s opposition, and because she feels there are other politicians more qualified than her to assume the position.
However, after a thorough reflection and consultation process with her family, she changed her mind.
Robredo thanked her three daughters, Aika, Tricia and Jillian, for giving their blessing to her candidacy despite their earlier hesitation.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa aking pamilya, lalo na sa aking tatlong anak, sa pagbibigay ng kanilang basbas. Hinding-hindi ako susulong sa laban na ito kundi ko sila kasama,” she said.
Robredo is on her first term as a member of the House of Representatives.
Though Robredo admitted she had been ill-prepared in her first foray in politics in 2013, she took pride in the “honest, clean and open” brand of leadership she espoused throughout her stint in Congress.
In addition to providing her constituents the basic services they need, Robredo said she also championed the cause of marginalized people in her district.
“Sa aking paninilbihan, ipinaglaban ko ang karapatan ng mga naka-tsinelas, mga nasa labas at laylayan ng lipunan,” she said.
Amid the expected rigors of a vice presidential campaign, Robredo said she is drawing strength from Jesse’s constant reminder for her to have faith in trying situations.
“Gaya po ng dati, nabubuhay kami sa alaala ng parating sinasabi ni Jesse noong nabubuhay pa siya. ‘Tiwala lang. May dahilan ang lahat na nangyayari. Dahil sa kahuli hulihan ng lahat, ang mabuti ang parating mananaig. Ang tama ang parating magtatagumpay,’” she said.
She assured her constituents in Camarines Sur that she will not forget them even if she’s aspiring for a higher office.
“Nasaan man ako, ang pagkalinga at pagsisilbi ko sa inyo ay patuloy pa rin. Hinihingi ko po sa inyo na sabay-sabay pa din nating ipagpatuloy ang pagbabago nating sinimulan, at huwag na sana po nating hayaan manumbalik pa ang mga dating kabuktutan,” she said.(MNS)