Roxas: Leni Robredo qualified, should be considered for VP

Bea Cupin
Roxas: Leni Robredo qualified, should be considered for VP
But the Camarines Sur representative says she is in no hurry to seek higher office as she is 'just growing' into her job as a lawmaker

NAGA CITY, Philippines – Is Manuel Roxas II, interior secretary and administration standard-bearer, eyeing the widow of his late predecessor as his running-mate come 2016?

It was a question neither Roxas nor Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo could avoid on Tuesday, August 18, as the Robredo family, the city of Naga, Cabinet members, and President Benigno Aquino III commemorated the death anniversary of Jesse Robredo.

While no explicit offer has been made to the Camarines Sur representative to run as Roxas’ running-mate in 2016, the current DILG chief seemed open to the idea.

Kinikilala ko si Congresswoman Leni bilang isa sa may karanaasan, may kakayahan, kitang-kita sa kanyang pananalita….Wala pang pormal na pag-uusap kay Cong Leni at darating at darating tayo diyan,” Roxas told reporters in a chance interview.

(I recognize Congresswoman Leni as someone who has experience, the skill, and this can be clearly in the way she speaks. But I have yet to have formally discussions with Cong Leni. We’ll come to that eventually.)

Roxas, however, later added that Robredo’s experience, track record, and participation in the current administration’s “Daang Matuwid,” only makes it right for her to be “considered” for the vice presidential post.

Kung pinagpipilian, isa siya sa mga dapat na ikonsidera (If you’re talking about choices, it’s only right that she is among those who must be considered),” added Roxas.

‘I’m taking my time’

In an earlier interview with reporters, Robredo was quick to dismiss speculation that she is eyeing the second-highest elective post in the country. She said there were no talks and that it “wasn’t an option” as far as she was concerned.

Sa umpisa lang, parang napakalaki kasi ng pinapangarap ng iba para sa akin. Pero para sa akin, hindi naman tayo nagmamadali, wala naman akong political ambitions na tumaas pa. Ito ngang pagiging congressman, hindi natin ito inaasahan. I am just growing into the job. Kaya parang dahan-dahan lang. Marami pa tayong limitations, maraming mas handa,” she told reporters.

(From the get-go, it seems as though other people have had very big dreams for me. But if you ask me, I’m not in a hurry, I have no political ambitions of seeking a higher post. I didn’t even expect to become a  congressman. I am just growing into the job. So I’m taking my time. I have a lot of limitations, and there are others who are more qualified.)

In an earlier interview with reporters, Robredo had already dismissed the idea of her running for vice president, instead pushing for neophyte Senator Grace Poe as Roxas’ running-mate.

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) has long been wooing Poe, in talks led by no less than President Benigno Aquino III.

Roxas recently met with Poe to formally offer the vice presidential post, but Poe said she was not yet ready to make a decision.

It it widely believed that Poe is set to seek the presidency herself, with her friend, Senator Francis Escudero as her running-mate. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.