Robredo during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on July 2016
|14th Vice President of the Philippines|
Assumed office |
June 30, 2016
|Preceded by||Jejomar Binay|
|Chairwoman of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council|
July 12, 2016 – December 5, 2016
|Preceded by||Jejomar Binay|
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Camarines Sur's 3rd district|
June 30, 2013 – June 30, 2016
|Preceded by||Luis Villafuerte, Sr.|
|Succeeded by||Gabriel Bordado|
Maria Leonor Santo Tomas Gerona|
April 23, 1964
Naga, Camarines Sur, Philippines
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|Spouse(s)||Jesse Robredo (m. 1987; d. 2012)|
|Residence||Quezon City Reception House|
University of the Philippines Diliman (B.A.)|
San Beda College (M.B.A.)
University of Nueva Caceres (LL.B.)
| This article is part of a series about|
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Camarines Sur's Third District
Mayoral Spouse of Naga City
Personal Initiatives and Positions
Maria Leonor "Leni" Santo Tomas Robredo (née Gerona, born April 23, 1964) is a Filipino lawyer, social activist, and politician who was the 14th Vice President of the Philippines. Running under the Liberal Party, Robredo won the vice-presidency contest in the May 9, 2016 election, as confirmed and proclaimed by the official Congressional count of May 25–27, with 14,418,817 votes (35.11% of the votes), narrowly defeating Senator Bongbong Marcos by 263,473 votes. She is the second woman to serve as Vice President after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the first Vice President from Bicol.
Robredo first came to public attention in 2012 after the death of her husband, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in the 2012 Philippine Piper Seneca crash off the coast of Masbate Island. Prior to the accident, her involvement in public life was as a lawyer and social activist. After this, she ran in the 2013 general election and won as the representative of Camarines Sur's Third District to the Philippine House of Representatives for the 16th Congress, a post she held until her inauguration as Vice President on June 30, 2016.
Early life and education
Maria Leonor Santo Tomas Gerona was born on April 23, 1964 in Naga, Camarines Sur, Philippines. She was the first of three children born to retired Naga City Regional Trial Court Judge Antonio Gerona and Salvacion Sto. Tomas.
Gerona was educated at the Universidad de Sta. Isabel in Naga City, graduating from elementary school in 1978, and from high school in 1982. She then graduated with a degree in economics from the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1986. She then went to obtain her Master's Degree in business administration at San Beda College prior to studying Law at University of Nueva Caceres, graduating in 1992.
Inspired by the People Power Revolution after graduating from UP Diliman, Gerona chose to temporarily forego law studies and instead decided to work as a researcher for the Bicol River Basin Development Program (BRBDP), a government agency tasked with integrated area development planning in the three provinces of the Bicol region. Here she met then-Program Director Jesse Robredo, who would eventually become her husband.
After passing the bar exam in 1996, Robredo served in the Public Attorney's Office, a role in which she often took up the defense for cases pursued by her husband, who by then had become Mayor of Naga.
From 1998 to 2008, Robredo became the coordinator of Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligan (SALIGAN), a Naga-based alternative legal support group. SALIGAN's work aimed to encourage young legal professionals to take on leadership roles, and involved visiting distant rural communities to provide legal services to residents who would otherwise have little or no access to such services, as well as conducting legal advocacy by proposing amendments and new laws based on the needs of these marginalized communities. Later, the group's focus shifted to include helping rural women to acquire capital in order to become competitive markets.
She ran in Camarines Sur's 3rd congressional district during the Philippine general elections of 2013. On May 16, 2013 she was proclaimed winner, beating Nelly Favis-Villafuerte (of Nationalist People's Coalition/United Nationalist Alliance), wife of former Congressman Luis Villafuerte and member of the politically powerful Villafuerte dynasty
Legislative thrust and positions on issues
During her term in congress, Robredo was the vice chairman of the House committees on good governance, public accountibility, and revision of laws, and a member of 11 other house panels. She was known for being a strong advocate of the Freedom of Information Act, was a strong supporter of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Participatory governance and transparency were major thrusts of Robredo's legislative agenda. The first law Robredo authored in congress was the Full Disclosure Policy Bill (HB 19), which would have mandated all government agencies and their sub-units and projects to disclose their budget and financial transactions in a conspicuous manner "without any requests from the public." Concerned that the marginalized sector should not be denied access to government frontline services and public meetings based on their attire, she sponsored the Open Door Policy Act (House Bill No. 6286), which prohibits government offices and agencies from implementing strict dress codes.
Robredo also authored the People Empowerment Bill (HB 4911), which sought to allow more participation from Filipinos in decision and policy-making, and the Participatory Budget Process Bill (HB 3905) which sought to increase participation in budget-related decisions in government projects by locals. She also wrote the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB 3432) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, language, disability, HIV status, etc.
To promote transparency in the taxation process, she sponsored the house version (House Bill 05831) of what would eventually become Republic Act RA10708, the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act of 2009 (TIMTA).
Concerned about corruption in agrarian reform, Robredo co-authored House Bill 5841, which would have created an Agrarian Reform Commission that will focus on investigating violations against the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
As a member of the 16th Congress, Robredo was one of the principal authors of the house version of “The Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA)” (Republic Act RA10708, House Bill 05831) which was enacted on December 9, 2015.
- The “National Children’s Month Act,” Republic Act RA10661 (HB01641) enacted on May 29, 2015, declaring the celebration of the national children's month on November of every year
- The “Charter of the Quezon City Development Authority,” Republic Act RA10646 (HB03899), lapsed into law on November 8, 2014
- The “Open High School System Act,” Republic Act RA10665 (HB04085) enacted on July 9, 2015, establishing and appropriating funds for the open high school system in the Philippines
- Republic Act RA10638 (HB04089), extending the corporate life of the Philippine National Railways for another 50 years, enacted on June 16, 2014
- Republic Act RA10707 (HB04147), amending the “Probation Law of 1976” enacted on November 26, 2015, rationalizing and strengthening the probation system
- The “Graphic Health Warnings Law,” Republic Act RA10643 (HB04590), enacted on November 15, 2014, prescribing the printing of graphic health warnings on tobacco products
- Republic Act RA10655 (HB05280), decriminalizing premature remarriages, enacted on March 13, 2015
- The “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act.of 2015,” Republic Act RA10742 (HB06043), enacted on January 15, 2016
In addition, Robredo was one of many co-authors of the National Budgets for the years 2014 (RA10633, HB02630, enacted on December 20, 2013), 2015 (RA10651, HB04968, enacted on December 23, 2014), and 2016 (RA10717, HB06132, enacted on December 22, 2015).
Robredo was also a key supporter of:
- HB 4911: People Empowerment Bill to create a partnership between local governments and civil society through the establishment of a people’s council in every local government unit. This act also prescribes the powers and functions of the said council.
- HB 3432: Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination to prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, language, disability, HIV status, and other status, and will provide penalties for it.
- HB 4021: Healthy Beverage Options to regulate the availability of beverages to children in schools and for other purposes.
- HB 19: Full Disclosure Policy to require the full disclosure of all information on fiscal management from all national government departments, bureaus, agencies and other instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporation, and their subsidiaries and local governments. This act will also provide penalties for violations of the said requirement.
- HB 3905: Participatory Budget Process to institutionalize citizens’ participation in the budget process and for other processes.
- HB 3237: Freedom of Information to strengthen the right of citizens to information held by the government.
Vice Presidency (2016–present)
|Presidential styles of|
|Reference style||Her Excellency|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Alternative style||Madame Vice President|
On October 5, 2015, after her three daughters set aside their initial objections, Robredo announced that she would run for the post of Vice President of the Philippines under the Liberal Party in the 2016 election, as the running mate of presidential candidate Mar Roxas. Robredo won the election with 14,418,817 votes or 35.11 percent of the votes, narrowly defeating closest rival Senator Bongbong Marcos by 263,473 votes or by 0.64 percent.
Robredo was sworn in as Vice President of the Philippines on June 30, 2016 at the Quezon City Reception House, of which Robredo uses as her office.
Robredo first met President Rodrigo Duterte personally at the Armed Forces of the Philippines change-of-command ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo on July 1, 2016, a day after their inauguration. She later paid a courtesy call on him at the Malacañang Palace on July 4, their first formal meeting. On July 7, Duterte called Robredo during a press conference to offer her the Cabinet position of being the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, which Robredo accepted.
Robredo is the third Vice President to head the government agency focused on housing programs, following her immediate predecessors Noli de Castro and Jejomar Binay. Duterte earlier said that he did not want to appoint a Cabinet position to Robredo due to his unfamiliarity with her and his friendship with Bongbong Marcos.
In September 2016, after the onslaught of Typhoon Ferdie in Batanes, Robredo visited the island in which she offered aid and brought emergency shelter assistance to the people. In the same month Leni Robredo met with Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas to discuss drug rehabilitation programs.
In October 2016, international aid agencies have thrown their full support behind the antipoverty program of Vice President Leni Robredo, joining a summit scheduled on the same month where they will partner with the country’s poorest local government units. The summit known as Partnerships Against Poverty Summit will be held on Oct. 10 is a product of her twice-weekly visits to the poorest of the poor local government units (LGUs) in her first 100 days as Vice President. Some of the participants such as UN Children’s Fund, World Food Program, the UN Development Program, the EU, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will help in “research, knowledge sharing, technical assistance, small grants for capacity building and the like,” said Georgina Hernandez, head of the OVP’s Anti-Poverty and Advocacies Programs. Following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Lawin, Robredo visited Cagayan and met with Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and local disaster officials to inquire about the damage, which will be the basis for the kind of assistance her office will provide.
On December 4, 2016, Robredo was informed by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. "to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting December 5," which prompted her to release a statement tendering her resignation as the chairwoman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, effective the following day.
Leni is known for her simple and down-to-earth lifestyle. Leni was married to Jesse Robredo, whom she met while working at the Bicol River Basin Development Program, from 1987 until his death from a plane crash in 2012. The couple had three daughters: Jessica Marie, Janine Patricia, and Jillian Therese. Their eldest daughter, Jessica, was an executive assistant at the Office of Civil Defense, while their second eldest, Patricia, was a UAAP basketball sideline reporter for National University.
Awards and recognitions
On August 1, 2016, Robredo was awarded as the Honorary Outstanding Woman Award of the Year 2016 by the Thailand government, coinciding with the Thailand's Women's Day. The recognition was given to Robredo, citing her works and advocacies for women's empowerment and pushing for gender equality.
Portrayals in media
Robredo was featured in an episode of ABS-CBN's drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya on February 6, 2016, three days before the official campaign period for national candidates in the 2016 elections. Dimples Romana starred the role of Robredo, but Kaye Abad was portrayed in 2013.
- "Vote PH 2016: Leni Robredo". Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 10, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Official count: Duterte is new president, Robredo is vice president". CNN Philippines. May 27, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- Cayabyab, Marc Jayson. "Leni Robredo is vice president". newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- "Leni Robredo: I can't refuse call to serve". Rappler.
- That first night, I knew he was gone—Robredo’s wife Inquirer.net (retrieved June 13, 2014)
- Francisco, Katerina (October 5, 2015), "Leni Robredo: Low-key political wife goes national", Rappler.com, retrieved April 15, 2016
- Melendez, Paolo Enrico (April 22, 2016). "The Evolution of Leni Robredo: How the VP Underdog Became the Race's Strongest Contender". Rogue Magazine. Makati: Rogue Media, Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/10/09/15/leni-robredo-relives-whirlwind-romance-jesse Leni Robredo relives 'whirlwind' romance with Jesse
- "Will children make good leaders? | Mindanao Times". mindanaotimes.net. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- How Leni Robredo and her group help empower women and farmers (YouTube Video). Mandaluyong City: Philippine Entertainment Portal, Inc. April 12, 2016.
- "No fears that Robredo will neglect CamSur – women supporters". Rappler.com. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- Robredo widow now Liberal Party head in CamSur Inquirer.net (October 5, 2012)
- Leni Robredo files candidacy for House seat Inquirer.net (October 5, 2012)
- Leni Robredo ready to enter politics ABS-CBNnews.com (October 5, 2012)
- Leni Robredo appointed LP chair in CamSur Rappler.com (October 5, 2012)
- Leni Robredo eyes RTC judge post in QC Inquirer.net (October 5, 2012)
- Leni Robredo proclaimed winner in Camarines Sur, Philippine Daily Inquirer
- "Political dynasties win some, lose some | Inquirer News". Newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Leni Robredo: The reluctant candidate now seeks VP post in 2016". GMA News Online.
- Marc Jayson Cayabyab. "Leni Robredo urges adoption of House FOI bill version".
- Aries Joseph Hegina. "LIST: How did your representatives vote on the BBL?".
- "22 House members urge support for Bangsamoro Basic Law". Sun.Star.
- "Leni Robredo's first bill: Full disclosure in gov't transactions". philstar.com. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Leni Robredo eyes lifting of gov't dress code for ordinary Filipinos - Liberal Party of the Philippines". Liberal Party of the Philippines. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "House Bill No. 6286 (Open Door Policy Act).pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Leni on BUB, cabinet portfolio and others - Liberal Party of the Philippines". Liberal Party of the Philippines. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "[HB4911] People Empowerment Bill.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "[HB03905] BUB.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- Maria Ressa (Interviewer), Leni Robredo (October 12, 2015). Rappler Talk: Leni Robredo on running for VP (YouTube Video). Rappler. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "[HB03432] Comprehesive Anti-Discrimination.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Senate passes Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act". Rappler. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "House OKs Tax Incentives Transparency bill". philstar.com.
- "BusinessWorld - Grief, and why I will campaign for Leni".
- "Leni Robredo: Probe corruption in land distribution - Liberal Party of the Philippines". Liberal Party of the Philippines. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Cong. Robredo's Statement on the Anti-Dynasty Bill - Leni Robredo Official Website". Leni Robredo Official Website. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Robredo: Dynasty bill may be passed yet". philstar.com. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Healthy Beverage Options Act 4021 Proposed for Schools". SmartParenting.com.ph. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "House of Representatives". Congress.gov.ph. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "House of Representatives". Congress.gov.ph. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- Ronda, Rainier Allan (June 7, 2015). "November declared National Children's Month". The Philippine Star. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- "Republic Act RA10655" (PDF).
- "Article 351 of Act No. 3815 of the revised penal code" (PDF).
- "Noy signs law decriminalizing women's 'premature marriage'".
- "[HB4021] Healthy Beverage Options Bill.PDF". Google Docs. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "[HB3237] Freedom of Information.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "LOOK: Leni Robredo takes oath of office as Vice President of the Philippines". CNN Philippines. June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Alberto-Masakayan, Thea (July 1, 2016). "Cordial at first sight: Duterte, Robredo meet". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Alvarez, Kathrina Charmaine; Dioquino, Rose-An Jessica (July 4, 2016). "Robredo pays courtesy call on Duterte in Malacañang". GMA News. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
- "Duterte appoints Robredo as HUDCC chief". Philippine Daily Inquirer. July 7, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- Ranada, Pia (July 7, 2016). "VP Robredo is Duterte's housing czar". Rappler. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- Cataluña, Juliet. "Leni visits typhoon-damaged Batanes". inquirer.net. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- "Robredo meets CBCP's Villegas on drug rehab". rappler.com. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- Dizon, Nikko. "Int'l aid agencies back Robredo's antipoverty program". inquirer.net. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- News, Harris Julio, ABS-CBN. "Robredo visits typhoon-ravaged Cagayan". abs-cbn.com. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- "VP Leni Robredo resigns from Cabinet position". CNN Philippines. December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
- "Becoming Leni Robredo". rappler.com. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- "14 facts about the Philippines' 14th VP #10". ABS-CBN News. May 28, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- de Vera, Ruel (April 24, 2016). "Aika Robredo–Leni's secret campaign weapon". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- "Tricia Robredo's courtside reporting stint is for her dad". The Philippine Star. August 16, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Pasion, Patty (August 2, 2016). "Robredo honored as 'outstanding woman' in Southeast Asia". Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "Robredo named most influential Filipina". Philstar.com. August 24, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- Cupin, Bea (February 3, 2016). "3 days before campaign, MMK to feature Robredo". Rappler. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Official website
- Profile at the House of Representatives of the Philippines
- Profile at Bayang Matuwid
- Leni Robredo on Facebook