Leni Robredo is the incumbent Representative of the Third District of Camarines Sur, and now running for the vice presidential post under the Liberal Party (LP), alongside Mar Roxas (LP standard bearer and Presidential bet).
Leni emerged in the public eye and rose to the national spotlight with the loss of her husband, former Naga City Mayor and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo, in a plane crash in 2012.
Before she was elected as Congresswoman in 2013, she was a Human Rights Lawyer working for Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligan (SALIGAN), and offering her legal services and expertise to the poor, especially in far-flung communities and towns in the provinces.
In 2005, Leni was appointed as Chairperson of LP in Camarines Sur. Two years later, she began serving as coordinator of Naga City based-SALIGAN, aiming to achieve growth and development through paralegal education, until her husband died in 2012. She was later convinced by her colleagues to enter politics and continue the legacy left behind by her husband, as Jesse was very often commended for his hard work and righteousness.
Even after she won a landslide victory as Representative of the Third Congressional District of Camarines Sur, and while succeeding her husband’s footsteps towards good governance, however, she continued her commitment to her three daughters as a single parent as well.
When he was still alive, Jesse Robredo was well-known for his tsinelas and short outfit as a symbol of his down-to-Earth approach in leadership, which the female Robredo also adapted in her campaigns. In an interview, Leni said it’s not just about wearing tsinelas, it’s more than that. It is her way of connecting with the people.
Robredo is also admired for her selflessness. Although she was provided a car, she rarely uses it. Leni often takes the public bus for her back and forth trips from Naga City to Manila. This is one of the things, people remember her for. She says it’s her way of keeping her feet to the ground and not become tempted with the perks and privileges that come with her job.
Her first bill was the Full Disclosure Bill. Upon legalization, it will require all government officials and agencies to publicly disclose any transactions, documents, and budgets of public interest and relevance. It promotes transparency and accountability, in support of her husband’s legacy.
She is also considered a champion of the Freedom of Information Act and one of the primary authors of the Tax Incentives Transparency Bill. According to Leni, the burden of paying taxes should be put upon those who can afford it. She, moreover, initiated the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT) which aims to alleviate poverty in the Philippines.
With her overwhelming efforts to touch more lives, Leni continues to surge up the surveys. Initially at the bottom with only 3% at the beginning of the campaign period, she is now in the third spot with 19% of the total voters opting for her. And as the May 2016 elections are nearing, her supporters are positive that she will be able to garner enough votes to win the vice presidential post she’s been rooting for.
Date of Birth: April 23, 1964
Spouse: Jesse M. Robredo (Deceased)
Children: Jessica Marie, Janine Patricia, Jillian Therese
Parents: Antonio Gerona (a long-time judge of the Naga City Regional Trial Court), Salvacion Sto. Tomas
College: University of the Philippines-Diliman, BA Economics, 1986
Graduate: University of Nueva Caceres, Naga City, Bachelor of Laws, 1992
- House of Representatives, Representative, July 2013 – Present
- Private Practice, Lawyer
MEMBERSHIP IN CIVIC ORGANIZATION
- Lakas ng Kababaihan ng Naga, Founder
- Naga City Council for Women, Past President
- Federacion International de Abogados, Member
- After the death of her husband in 2012, Robredo was assigned to take over his position as Chair of the Liberal Party in Camarines Sur.
- She ran for the first time in 2013 for Representative of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur.
- Robredo filed her candidacy only on the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy.
- Robredo toppled the nearly 40-year reign of the Villafuerte clan in the 3rd District of Camarines Sur.
- She ran against Atty. Nelly Villafuerte, wife of three-term Congressman Luis Villafuerte who ran for governor in 2013 but lost to grandson Miguel.
- She was also Branch Coordinator and Lawyer of SALIGAN Bicol. SALIGAN is an NGO of lawyers provideing legal services to basic sectors, including farmers, women, IPs, fishermen, laborers, and the urban poor.
- She was also a Public Attorney for the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), where she rendered legal services to indigents.
Sources: lenirobredo.com/about-leni, Official Facebook page of Leni Robredo, congress.gov.ph, ABS-CBN Halalan 2016 app