Leni Robredo on 2016: ‘Slim chance’ for Senate bid

Angela Casauay
Leni Robredo on 2016: ‘Slim chance’ for Senate bid
The wife of the late Jesse Robredo says leaving Camarines Sur behind would put to waste the dismantling of a political dynasty that they achieved in 2013

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – There are “serious talks” for Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo to run for the Senate in 2016, but the newbie lawmaker has remained unconvinced and is setting her sights on a re-election bid. 

With less than a year left for candidates to finalize their 2016 plans, Robredo said Tuesday, February 10, she is 80% sure that she will seek re-election as a district representative. 

“A lot of things can still happen, but I do not forget the fact as to why I’m here. I was filling a vacuum in my district and, so far, it hasn’t been talked about. But most probably I will seek re-election,” Robredo said when asked about her plans for next elections. 

In 2013, Robredo decided to run at the last-minute due to public clamor that erupted after her husband, then Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, died in a plane crash

She won by a landslide against Nelly Villafuerte, wife of former Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte. 

The political landscape in her district is stopping Robredo from pushing for a higher position. 

“Because it is the reason why I ran in the first place. It was an opportunity for us to put a stop to a political dynasty, which had been ruling our district since 1978. If I leave it behind, I would be putting to naught everything that I sacrificed in 2013. But, as I said, anything is possible, but right now, that (re-election) is what I am preparing for,” Robredo said. 

Robredo shot down possibilities of running for an even higher position, such as the vice presidency or the presidency.

“‘Yun ang siguradong hindi. ‘Yung Senate is a possibility, although very, very slim chance, pero siguro ‘yung vice presidency hindi siguro,” Robredo said.   

(That’s the sure no. The Senate is a possibility, although there’s a very, very slim chance, but the vice presidency, maybe not.)

Robredo admitted “different groups” are in “serious talks” with her to convince her to run. 

But, so far, she said she would only run for a higher position if she is confident that there is an alternative candidate who can take her place in her district.

Good governance caravan

LEGACY. Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo (3rd from left) and Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao (2nd from left) lead the launch of good governance campaign 'Yapak ni Jesse.' Photo by Rappler

Robredo on Tuesday led the launch of “Yapak ni Jesse,” a good governance campaign inspired by her late husband. 

Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-Ao, and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and wife Batanes Representative Henedina Abad also graced the launch. 

The campaign introduces “scorecards” that aim to guide voters in choosing their candidates based on how efficient, how empowering, and how ethical a politician is. 

It is an effort guide voters on making an informed choice based on actual research, rather than perceptions. Milwilda Guevara, president and CEO of Synergia, said Jesse Robredo had always insisted on setting benchmarks in gauging his performance as then mayor of Naga City. 

The project will be pilot-tested in Valenzuela City on Thursday, February 12, in an event to be led by economics professor and TV host Winnie Monson. The first group of voters will rate Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian. 

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said Henedina Abad is Bataan Representative. We apologize for the error.


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