By Llanesca T Panti & Joel Sy Egco/Manila Times

Camarines Sur representative Leni Robredo yesterday said she needs more time to think about President Benigno Aquino and Manuel “Mar” Roxas’ offer to become the administration party’s candidate for vice president.
“It seems that I can’t make the Wednesday deadline,” she told reporters as she referred to the national convention of the Liberal Party(LP) today.
Robredo, widow of good governance icon Jesse Robredo, became the apple of Aquino and Roxas’ eyes after their original choice, Sen. Grace Poe, rejected their offer and declared her run for the presidency.
Robredo said her daughters are apprehensive about the idea.
“My children are apprehensive. They’re still adjusting to a life without a father and then their mother was suddenly thrust into politics and now there’s a new twist. It’s like they’ve been beaten up as things happened so fast. We really need more space this time,” she said.
 “I need to address my daughters’ apprehensions. We all know that during elections, even if you did well, some people become vicious. I have to make sure that my children would be protected from intrigues,” Robredo added.
LP officials, however, are confident that they would be able to present a vice presidential candidate when they hold their national convention today.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier said the LP is counting on Robredo to accept the draft as the administration party does not have a Plan B in case she declines the offer.
Robredo, however, said she was “seriously considering” the offer.
“I know that because I’m Jesse’s wife, I have an obligation that is bigger than myself and much bigger than my family. But I think I’ll be more effective as a public official if I consider the welfare of my family. I’m now looking for that proper balance,” she explained.
Cabiao Nueva Ecija Mayor Gloria Congco, a close friend of Robredo, said the lawmaker is yet to make a final decision but she is expected to agree to LP’s terms.
“We met last Saturday and as of that day she hadn’t decided yet. However, I can say that she is close to that and she may eventually agree to run with Roxas,” Congco told Manila Times.
Iloilo City representative Jerry Trenas, chairman of the LP membership and organising committee, said the party is torn between Robredo and Sen. Alan Cayetano, who yesterday declared his intention to run for vice president.
Contrary to Abad’s statement, Trenas disclosed that Robredo is not the runaway choice for vice president among the members of the ruling party.
“There is a very strong lobby coming from a lot of members of the Liberal Party and also from Sen. Cayetano. Sen. Cayetano has always been a very strong contender for vice president for Secretary Mar,” he said during the Ugnayan sa Batasan forum.
“I think at the moment we’re torn (between them). But while the party members may have different opinions, once a decision is made, we will all support that decision,” Trenas added.
Abad, meanwhile, said he could not yet name who will be Roxas’ running mate although Robredo is “close to making a decision.”
“I don’t want to pre-empt the LP but it may be announced on Monday,” Abad told Manila Times.
He said Cayetano, who was being pushed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr to be Roxas’ running mate, is no longer among the contenders for vice president because the latter has publicly chosen to run under Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City.
“Alan is (the vice president) of Duterte. I think it will be announced today,” he told Manila Times.

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