Leni celebrates 51st birthday with urban poor

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Vice-presidential aspirant and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Vice-presidential aspirant and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo celebrated her 51st birthday with the urban poor in Barangay 178, Camarin, Caloocan City on Saturday.

She was joined by her three daughters; Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas' son, Paolo; Kris Aquino, the sister of President Benigno Aquino III; and local officials of Caloocan.

Robredo was welcomed by urban poor organizations Camarin Balikatan Community Association, Inc., Samahan ng Responsableng Anak ng Nayon, Inc. (SARANAY), and Mabini Lapu-Lapu Neighborhood Association, Inc., among others.

Some 1,000 people participated in Rorbedo's fiesta-like birthday celebration dominated by the yellow LP campaign color.

They also prepared porridge, locally called lugaw, as a symbol of Leni's dedication to lifting members of the marginalized sector.

"Sa 51 taon ng buhay ko, ngayon pa lamang ako nag-celebrate ng birthday ko sa labas ng Naga. Nang tanungin ako kung saan ko gustong mag-celebrate ng birthday maliban sa Naga, sinabi ko dito. Ito ay dahil gusto kong maramdaman ang asawa ko ngayong kaarawan ko. At mahal na mahal ng asawa ko ang informal settlers," Robredo said in a speech.

SARANAY President Andres Aquino expressed his gratitude to Robredo for choosing their area in celebrating her special day.

"We know how busy she is from her hectic schedule of campaigning, but she is here with us to listen to our concerns," Aquino said.

Roxas and Robredo on April 9 signed a covenant that contains a list of issues submitted to them by urban poor and housing rights organizations.

The covenant calls for an end to forced eviction. It will not also prohibit any public or private authority to evict families and leave them homeless in the streets.

The accord also pushes for decent relocation with quality housing, adequate basic services and sustainable livelihood support.