MANILA, Philippines - Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, widow of the late DILG chief Jesse Robredo, turned down offers to join the Liberal Party senatorial slate but still ended up running for Congress upon the urging of her supporters.
Jun Labadia, a close friend of the Robredos, said the LP national leadership had asked Mrs. Robredo several times to join the LP slate especially after the death of her husband last August 18.
"Ilang beses ng napag-usapan yan sa national level...but it was destiny that she was able to file her [certificate of candidacy] for congresswoman," he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.
He added: "Kami po nga ay naniniwala na mas marami siyang magagawa kung sumali siya sa senatorial slate at malaki talaga ang maitutulong niya."
Robredo earlier said she became a reluctant candidate for the position of congresswoman of Camarines Sur's 3rd District after their chosen candidate, Naga Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado, backed out of the race.
Mrs. Robredo admitted that her daughters begged her not to run so soon after the death of their father.
"Sabi ko sa kanila nasasabi nila yan dahil hindi nila nakikita na dugo ang pawis ang ibinigay ng asawa ko para itaguyod yung grupo. For 19 years, ito yung mga taong sumusuporta sa kanya. Ito yung inaasahan niya tuwing election," she said, referring to Robredo's supporters in Naga City.
"It was too small a price to pay yung isasakripisyo yung sarili," she added.
Robredo is set to face former trade undersecretary Nelly Villafuerte, who is the wife of incumbent Congressman Luis Villafuerte Sr., and independent bet Charie Pante in the congressional election.