LEGAZPI CITY, May 29 (PNA) -- Bicolanos from all walks of life, including the Diocese of Legazpi, are rejoicing over the victory of Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo (3rd District) in her bid for the country’s second top post.
The Diocese of Legazpi was among the first to extend a congratulatory message to Robredo through its social networking site after the official counting of the National Board of Canvassers in Congress ended on Friday evening.
Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Villafuerte, a staunch supporter of Grace Poe in the presidential race but opted to support Robredo for vice president over Senator Chiz Escudero, also expressed delight over the Bicolana aspirant's successful bid.
“We’re proud to have a new vice president that was born and raised here in Camarines Sur,” Villafuerte said.
He described Robredo as simple yet hardworking public servant.
“We wish her all the best in her new mandate as vice president of the Philippines. Congratulations, Vice President Leni,” the young governor said.
Villafuerte and his father, former governor now congressman-elect of the second district of Camarines Sur El-Ray Villafuerte, stood pat for Robredo’s candidacy since the start of the vice presidential race until the last hour of her political battle.
The city officials of Ligao City in Albay led by Mayor Patty Gonzalez-Alsua were also elated by Robredo’s triumphant bid as the first Bicolana elected in the country’s second top position.
“The vice-president-elect is a Bicolana! The people of Ligao City and the Bicol Region are so proud of you!” Alsua said.
Even the non-political allies of Robredo are now hoping for the best for the Bicolana lawmaker-turned-vice president.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda, who dumped the candidacies of Mar Roxas and Robredo for Poe and Escudero two weeks before the 2016 elections, also extended his congratulatory message to newly elected vice president.
“Congratulations to the highest Bicolano official in government ever,” Salceda said in his message to Robredo.
He expressed willingness to help the new vice president.
Irene A. Solmirano, president Entrepinay Legazpi City Chapter--a civil society organization that gives livelihood training to poor women in Bicol, jumped with joy as, she said, her prayers and religious campaign for Robredo paid off.
"We will now have a strong leader in our advocacy for women's rights and welfare, especially in empowering them," Solmirano said, adding. "I hope incoming president Rodrigo Duterte appoints him to be the secretary of either the Department of Social Welfare and Development because of her fervent concern for the marginalized members of the society or the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) since she has been involved in barangay immersion and has worked with the villagers and she will provide the guidance and inspiration of a mother to the local governments, police and other members of the DILG family."
Robredo’s journey to politics began in 2013 after the tragic incident of former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in 2012 in the waters off Masbate.
The late DILG secretary died in a plane crash, an incident that created an outpouring support and called for the widow to continue her husband’s legacy by joining the world of politics and public service.
At first, the widow was hesitant to join the world of politics as she focused on helping the impoverished families through non-governmental tasks and providing legal assistance to the poor.
The vice president-elect, however, was compelled to run for vice president following a strong clamor of the public to continue her husband’s legacy as a role model of good governance and simple way of life.(PNA) BNB/FGS/RBB/CBD/pjn