Maria Leonor "Leni" Gerona Robredo

robredoPhoto from Leni Robredo website.

She has been accused of “necropolitics” — riding the wave of popularity generated by the passing of her famous husband all the way to public office. But are these just empty accusations, and is Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo really up for the veep job?

Unexpectedly

Leni said in an interview that the EDSA revolution unexpectedly changed her life. She had it all figured out, she said, and then People Power happened. 

Leni was caught up in the idealism of 1986 to work for the Bicol River Basin Development Program, postponing her original dream of pursuing and practicing law. There she met Jesse Robredo, whom she eventually married in 1987.

In the Philippines’ fuzzy world of personality politics, the surname Robredo might be the biggest thing going for Leni in her quest for public office. Standing out from traditional politicians and politicking, her husband Jesse transformed Naga City for the better, earning accolades for his exemplary local government work. 

All things considered, however, this connection may be unfair to Leni, who had been involved in public service long before she won a seat in Congress in 2013. She served in the Public Attorney’s Office, where she, according to her website, “[worked] with civil society organizations and defended cases of the poor, which she worked mostly pro bono”. Her work as a lawyer gained her the Most Outstanding Private Prosecutor award from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in 2009.

Now that she is running for a higher posy, will the Robredo brand and her experiences as a lawyer and a legislator help her crack the glass ceiling to become the country’s second female Vice President?

Daang Matuwid, and then some

As the vice-presidential candidate of the Liberal Party and the running mate of Mar Roxas, Leni Robredo is expected to campaign under the same platform and same vision of Daang Matuwid (Straight or Just Path). The Daang Matuwid vision is elaborated in the form of three freedoms: freedom from hunger, freedom from fear, and freedom to dream. To these ends, it promises to sustain the economic growth of the country, provide universal healthcare, institutionalize the conditional cash transfer program, and improve the justice system, among other things.

But Robredo also has her agenda. Aside from her advocacy for local government empowerment, which according to her, is a continuation of her husband’s work, she advocates the freedom of information bill and other measures that would improve transparency and accountability in government. She has also filed bills that would enhance the participation of citizens in governance.

Necropolitics pa more

On the accusation of utilizing”necropolitics” I her campaign, Robredo responded by saying that she has something unique to offer, especially with her perspective as a woman, while proclaiming to continue her husband’s work. 

Her being a “last-minute” choice of sorts has also not escaped the eyes of some, although her strong showings in the latest pre-election surveys may be vindicating her party’s choice for the country’s second-highest post. Still, it will be up to the voters on May 9 to decide if her platform and experience can catapult her to the vice-presidency.

 

She has been accused of “necropolitics” — riding the wave of popularity generated by the passing of her famous husband all the way to public office. But are these just empty accusations, and is Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo really up for the veep job?

Unexpectedly

Leni said in an interview that the EDSA revolution unexpectedly changed her life. She had it all figured out, she said, and then People Power happened.

Leni was caught up in the idealism of 1986 to work for the Bicol River Basin Development Program, postponing her original dream of pursuing and practicing law. There she met Jesse Robredo, whom she eventually married in 1987.

In the Philippines’ fuzzy world of personality politics, the surname Robredo might be the biggest thing going for Leni in her quest for public office. Standing out from traditional politicians and politicking, her husband Jesse transformed Naga City for the better, earning accolades for his exemplary local government work.

All things considered, however, this connection may be unfair to Leni, who had been involved in public service long before she won a seat in Congress in 2013. She served in the Public Attorney’s Office, where she, according to her website, “[worked] with civil society organizations and defended cases of the poor, which she worked mostly pro bono”. Her work as a lawyer gained her the Most Outstanding Private Prosecutor award from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in 2009.

Now that she is running for a higher posy, will the Robredo brand and her experiences as a lawyer and a legislator help her crack the glass ceiling to become the country’s second female Vice President?

Daang Matuwid, and then some

As the vice-presidential candidate of the Liberal Party and the running mate of Mar Roxas, Leni Robredo is expected to campaign under the same platform and same vision of Daang Matuwid (Straight or Just Path). The Daang Matuwid vision is elaborated in the form of three freedoms: freedom from hunger, freedom from fear, and freedom to dream. To these ends, it promises to sustain the economic growth of the country, provide universal healthcare, institutionalize the conditional cash transfer program, and improve the justice system, among other things.

But Robredo also has her agenda. Aside from her advocacy for local government empowerment, which according to her, is a continuation of her husband’s work, she advocates the freedom of information bill and other measures that would improve transparency and accountability in government. She has also filed bills that would enhance the participation of citizens in governance.

Necropolitics pa more

On the accusation of utilizing”necropolitics” I her campaign, Robredo responded by saying that she has something unique to offer, especially with her perspective as a woman, while proclaiming to continue her husband’s work.

Her being a “last-minute” choice of sorts has also not escaped the eyes of some, although her strong showings in the latest pre-election surveys may be vindicating her party’s choice for the country’s second-highest post. Still, it will be up to the voters on May 9 to decide if her platform and experience can catapult her to the vice-presidency.