Liberal Party officially declares Roxas-Robredo tandem for 2016

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It's official – The Liberal Party's standard bearers for the 2016 elections will be Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo finally accepted the offer of the Liberal Party (LP) to be the vice presidential running mate of Manuel "Mar" Roxas II.

According to Robredo, it was not an easy decision to make. She made statements previously saying that she was not interested in the post and that she wasn't ready to be a vice president.

"Hindi po madali ang paglalakbay naming patungo sa araw na ito... Ang mga nakaraang linggo po ang pinakamahirap na pinagdaanan ng aming pamilya mula nuong namatay si [former Interior Secretary] Jesse [Robredo]," Robredo said on Monday (October 6) at a gathering of the Liberal Party at the Club Filipino in San Juan.

[Translation: "It hasn't been an easy journey to reach this day... The past weeks were the hardest that my family had to go through apart from the days since Jesse died."]

"Ang una pong tanong ko sa sarili ko: Bakit ako? Sa dinami-dami ng pagpipilian, bakit ako pa?" she added.

[Translation: "The first question I asked myself is: Why me? With so many others to choose from, why me?"]

She pointed out that she would never run without the permission of her daughters.

"Hinding hindi po ako susulong kung wala po ang basbas ng aking pamilya," Robredo said.

[Translation: "I would never make this move without the blessings of my family."]

And as the wife of the late former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, the congresswoman said she would always let the principles of her husband lead her way.

"Araw-araw po ramdam ko ang pagkawala ni Jesse. Pero araw-araw rin ramdam ko na buhay na buhay pa ang mga pangarap nya para sa atin."

[Translation: "Every day I still feel the loss of Jesse. But every day I also feel that his dreams for me are still alive."]

'Tsinelas' leadership

Robredo said her platforms as vice president would focus on pursuing "Daang Matuwid" and fighting for the rights of the marginalized and the poor whom she described as those wearing "tsinelas" – symbolizing the "tsinelas leadership" of her husband Jesse.

"Sa aking paninilbihan bilang kinatawan, ipinaglaban ko ang karapatan ng mga naka tsinelas… 'yung mga nasa labas, yung mga nasa laylayan ng ating lipunan," she said.

[Translation: "In my services as representative, I fought for the rights of those in slippers... those at the edges of our society."]

Robredo also said that she would remain true to the "Daang Matuwid" that President Benigno Aquino III started.

"Tapat, malinis, at bukas na pamamahala ang buod ng ating mga isinusulong," she said.

[Translation: "What we will push for is sincere, clean, and open management."]

Meanwhile, LP standard bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II thanked Aquino in his speech.

"Ididiin ko lang, this, all of these, would not have been possible without PNoy," Roxas said.

Roxas also emphasized they would continue what Aquino has started in "Daang Mutuwid."

"Nandito kami ni Leni. Nandito kami lahat para ituloy ang inyong nasimulan.  Hindi kami lilihis, hindi kami matitinag sa Daang Matuwid," Roxas said

[Translation: "Leni and I are here. We are all here to continue what you started. We won't stray, we won't waver in following the Straight Path."]

In his speech, President Aquino said he was confident with the Mar-Leni tandem. He assured the administration coalition that he would work hard to campaign for the tandem.

"Ngayong may Mar at ngayon may Leni pa, sa tibay ng paniniwala ko at sa kuwalisyon natin, mas magiging masipag pa ako sa kampanyang ito kaysa sa kampanya ko nuong 2010," Aquino said.

[Translation: "Now that we have Mar and Leni, with the strength of my confidence in our coalition, I will be even more active in this campaign than my own campaign in 2010."]

Aquino also warned their political rivals not to mess with Robredo's daughters during the election season.

"Nung namatay si Jesse, dumami ang foster father nitong mga batang ito. Wag na wag niyo silang gagalawin.. Sinasabi ko sa inyo, personalan na to," the president said.

[Translation: "When Jesse died, these kids gained a lot of foster fathers. Don't mess with them. I'm telling you now, this has become a personal concern."]