Roxas on VP search: ‘Very good news’

Bea Cupin
Roxas on VP search: ‘Very good news’
The Liberal Party is set to announce its vice presidential bet and senatorial slate on September 30 at its headquarters. But will those plans be put on hold?

MANILA, Philippines – With only a few days left before the Liberal Party is set to announce its vice presidential bet for 2016, its standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II was all smiles, despite no clear answer from the woman he offered the post to.

Ang update na maibibigay natin sa ating magiging ka-tandem ay very good news. So, darating at darating ang tamang panahon (The update I can give about my 2016 running mate is very good news. The right time will come.),” Roxas told reporters on Monday, September 28, on the sidelines of the National Unity Party’s (NUP) national convention.

Again taking a page out of the popular love team AlDub, Roxas quipped: “At tulad noong ating mga lovers doon sa ibang istasyon ay malalaman din ito [sa tamang panahon] (And like those lovers in one station, we’ll find out at the right time).”

The former interior secretary did not give any more details. (READ: Down to 2: Robredo or Cayetano as Roxas’ VP?)

Roxas first tried to woo Senator Grace Poe to run as his vice president in 2016, in hopes of keeping together a coalition led by the ruling Liberal Party (LP). Poe, however, has since announced her plans to run for president.

The same week as Poe’s announcement, the LP offered the post to another neophyte legislator, Camarines Sur Representative Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, widow of former Interior Secretary and Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo.

Robredo has been vocal about not wanting to run for the second-highest elective position, saying that if she were to be “cerebral” about it, the answer would be a flat-out “no.” She stressed, however, that it wasn’t easy to turn her back on the ruling LP.

The Camarines Sur representative’s daughters are against a possible vice presidential bid. Robredo explained that in her late husband’s decades in government service, theirs had always been very private lives.

President Benigno Aquino III had previously met with Robredo and her two older daughters to “clear the air” on the VP offer. It is unclear if another meeting between the President and the Robredos is going to happen.

All cards out on September 30?

The LP was originally set to announce its VP candidate and senatorial slate on September 30, Wednesday, at its headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.

But sources close to the LP are saying it’s likely that only part of the senatorial slate will be selected – and announced – by the party’s National Executive Council (NECO).

The coalitions that are still being forged between the LP and other parties, Roxas said, will be “expressed” in the final senatorial slate.

Roxas told reporters that come Wednesday, it’s possible that only LP members will be formally nominated to the senatorial slate.

In a chance interview with reporters at the House of Representatives, Robredo said she would be unable to meet the September 30 “deadline” since she still has to speak to her children.

Robredo, who is also a lawyer, was thrust into politics in 2013, a year after Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash off the coast of Masbate. Back then, she ran to make sure that the politically-entrenched Villafuertes would be eased out in her district. 

Prior to being elected as Camarines Sur 3rd district representative, Robredo kept a fairly low profile, working with a non-governmental organization that provided legal assistance to indigents, farmers, fisherfolk, and the underprivileged from the Bicol region. –

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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.