Mar-Leni tandem shaping up?

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II is optimistic that Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo will support his advocacy to continue the Aquino administration’s straight path policy.

Roxas, who is trying to convince Robredo to be his running mate, noted that the lawmaker originally did not want to enter politics but eventually changed her mind because of her desire to serve.

“When she saw that she is needed by the people of Naga, she stepped up. She did not turn her back on them and she did not avoid the responsibility and the opportunity to serve our people,” he said in a statement.

“I am sure Cong. Leni is with us as we push for the straight path,” he added.

Roxas and Robredo were in Naga to attend the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, a popular religious event celebrated every third Saturday of September.

Speaking to reporters, Robredo revealed that Roxas formally asked her to become his vice presidential running mate on Thursday, a day after Sen. Grace Poe declared her intention to run for president.

The LP-led administration coalition tried to woo Poe to run as their vice president but the senator decided to run for president.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Robredo and President Aquino met sometime in August, but they discussed Robredo’s possible senatorial bid, not a vice presidential run.

Robredo said she is still undecided about running for vice president because she still has reservations about seeking higher office.

“From the very start, I have been very vocal about the reasons why I do not want to run. They are not pressuring me to arrive at a decision right away,” the lawmaker told journalists.

“I think coming up with a decision is not something cerebral. If it were cerebral, the answer would be no. I told my children we would pray for it,” she added.

Robredo admitted feeling pressure because running for higher office is not something she had planned for.

“I was hoping before that Sen. Grace Poe will run as vice president. I did not prepare for this,” she said.

Robredo also said the administration coalition is aware that her primary consideration in coming up with a decision is the opinion of her daughters.

When asked if her daughters understand the situation, Robredo said: “No. That’s why I told them the decision is beyond us already. If you use your mind, it will really be hard.”

“But we understand that we have responsibilities bigger than ourselves and we cannot be selfish all the time,” she added.

When asked if she is ready to face Sen. Francis Escudero, Poe’s vice presidential running mate, Robredo replied: “Not yet. It was only yesterday when the matter was discussed seriously.”

‘P-Noy’s high rating means more Roxas votes’

For Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, a stalwart of LP, the high satisfaction rating of the President will translate to more votes for Roxas in the 2016 elections.

Evardone said the survey showed that Filipinos continue to have faith in Aquino, which means he has strong endorsement power.

“There is really a need to preserve and develop the gains of daang matuwid (straight path) so that we will not go back to uncertainty and backwardness,” Evardone said.

“People believe in the soundness and correctness of the reforms being initiated by President Aquino that are geared towards uplifting the lives of the poor,” he added.

He also noted that the poll shows that Filipinos believe that “Aquino is a sincere, incorruptible, honest and highly effective leader.”

Aquino’s high satisfaction rating also means that Filipinos are beginning to feel the fruits of the country’s growing economy.

The latest Social Weather Stations survey showed that Aquino obtained a net satisfaction rating of +41 in the third quarter, up by 11 points from its poll last June.

The administration is in search of ways to further boost the winnability of Roxas, who is behind Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay in various presidential surveys. With Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla, Jun Elias

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