NAGA CITY, Philippines (Sep 7, 2012) – Lawyer Leni Robredo says that at present, she is “200 percent” certain she will not run for senator in the 2013 elections despite a growing clamor for her to run under the Liberal Party, the party of her late husband DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.
“Maybe if it is the only way to keep my husband’s legacy alive,” she told The STAR in an exclusive interview at the Avenue Hotel in this city. “But over the years, I have always been a firm believer that one does not have a monopoly of good intentions or capabilities.”
Leni says not even a million signatures urging her to run for senator will change her mind because she believes that unlike Corazon Aquino (who was the commencement speaker when she graduated from the School of Economics at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 1987) in the snap polls of 1986, she is not the unifying factor in the senatorial elections of 2013.
“Besides, I feel like I will just be capitalizing on my husband’s popularity if I run for office,” she added.
Leni has retained the composure that won admiration for her in the aftermath her husband’s plane crash. But her eyes welled up when she revealed that just yesterday, she received a sealed brown envelope addressed to her. Over the tape that sealed the envelope was Jesse Robredo’s signature.
In it was a piece of paper detailing all of Jesse’s bank accounts and insurance policies.
“That was Jesse, a planner and a provider till the end,” says Leni.
Leni believes her husband’s death was an accident, and is consoled by what she saw when she viewed his remains in the body bag.
“He was in a seating position, his arms resting as if on arm rests, not crossed in front his upper body. I have a feeling he didn’t realize they were going to crash because he already saw the runway, according to his aide.”
She is grateful for being in the shortlist for regional trial court judge of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
“Jesse and I thought that if I get appointed and eventually decide to transfer to Manila, it would be easier to request for a transfer. I have been waiting for the JBC shortlist for a long time. I submitted my application August of 2011 and I was interviewed last Feb. 22. It is just unfortunate that when the list came out, Jess was no longer around to celebrate with me.”
She says she will endorse and campaign for the Liberal Party candidates in Naga that she knew her husband approved of.
“Some people think my endorsement means something these days,” she says shyly.
Leni visits her husband’s tomb almost everyday. She is happy and surprised that many still come to pay their respects to him almost a month after his death.
Jesse was cremated, and his ashes entombed.
But she has kept some of his ashes, and they are in four lockets – for her and her three children Aika, Patricia and Jillian.
If she were to see him in a dream, what would she tell her husband of 25 years?
“We are okay, Jesse. We are okay. Rest now,” she smiles, saying Jesse would not have approved of her tears. (From Philstar.com)