One would think that when the country’s second-highest official goes home, a bunch of helpers gathers around her to do her every bidding. But Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday, March 3, that she craved the ordinariness of her family life and that she was never a politician at home.
Asked how she balanced her being a mother to three daughters and being the vice president and presidential candidate of the opposition, Robredo admitted that she hadn’t been home much these days because of the campaign.
But she also shared that when she went home, she was never a vice president or a politician there.
“So, ang family life namin napaka-ordinaryo, wala sa aming— walang kino-consider na politiko sa bahay. Pagdating namin sa bahay, lahat kami gumagawa ng trabahong pambahay, lahat kami nagluluto, naglilinis (Our family life is very ordinary, there is no—there is no politician considered in our house. When we go home, we do household chores, we all cook, clean),” she said during an interview with 105.3 Radyo Natin Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro.
The Vice President is currently in the provinces for campaign sorties.
“Tingin ko kasi mahalaga ito sa public officials. Tingin ko mahalaga sa public officials na nare-retain niya 'yung pagka ordinaryo niya kasi 'yung pagka ordinaryo niya, iyon 'yung humuhubog sa kanyang karakter (I think this is important for public officials. I think it is important for public officials to retain his ordinariness because this ordinariness will mold his character),” she added.
Robredo believes a politician’s home life helps build the kind of leadership and governance he/she can offer.
This is a belief she has shared with her husband, the late former Interior secretary Jesse Robredo, who she said made an effort to keep their family life out of the limelight as much as possible.
The Robredos were known for their simple living, having lived in a simple apartment in Naga City even when Jesse was still alive. The Vice President once said they used to sleep in one room because it’s more practical when they had to turn the air-conditioner on.
The aspiring president also shared that her daughters—Aika, Tricia, and Jillian—never got affected by criticisms thrown at her.
They were well-aware of what people say about her: “bobo, lutang, kung anu-ano (stupid, confused, different things).”
“Hindi kami apektado. Sabi ko nga luging-lugi sa amin 'yung mga trolls kasi hindi naman namin sila pinapansin (We are not affected. I said that the trolls are at a loss because we don’t mind them),” Robredo said, though she admitted to hitting back at her critics from time to time.
The only time she felt guilty about her political life was when her critics attacked her daughters because she was the reason they were in that position.
Jillian, the youngest, has been vocal about not wanting her mother to run for president, although she also said Robredo has her all-out support.
For the Vice President, the best way to fight against the lies is to bombard them with the truth.
“Pag ang katotohanan kakampi mo, wala kang dapat ikabahala (When the truth is on your side, you don’t have to worry about anything),” Robredo said.