Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo used to jokingly refer to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as her husband Jesse’s second wife when he was still alive, their daughter, Aika Robredo, shared.
In a Facebook status message, Aika recalled how Roxas, then the Transportation Secretary, was a regular fixture at their household— whether he was there or not.
“He (Roxas) was a regular breakfast date, whose name would often come up during dinner conversations along with the many stories of what it was like to be a part of PNoy’s cabinet,” she said in the post made public on Friday, when President Benigno Aquino III endorsed the Interior Secretary’s presidential bid.
Aika, the eldest daughter of Jesse and Leni, said her father and Roxas had gone a long way— having known each other way back when the Robredo patriarch was mayor and the Interior Secretary held the trade portfolio in the Estrada administration.
“Papa had given me the impression that Mar was someone he could and would go to battle with… He was a Mar Roxas believer through and through,” she said.
Aika said Jesse was “all set to help Mar” as he was gearing for a presidential run in 2009, but eventually helped out then-Senator Aquino because of Roxas’ request.
“When he (Roxas) gave way to PNoy for the presidency, he asked Papa to focus on PNoy instead because he seemed to need it more at that time,” she said.
Though Roxas’ presidential ambition didn’t materialize then, the bond between him and Jesse remained strong until the latter died in 2012 in a plane crash.
“Mar returned the favor by sticking to Papa until the very end. He was the very first cabinet secretary who gave Mama a call when Papa’s plane was missing, who kept updating us on a regular basis during the search, and was also the first to let us know when it was found,” Aika said.
Now that Aquino has endorsed Roxas’ presidential bid, Aika said she “felt like things have finally come full circle.”
Referring to the photo she posted of Roxas and Jesse smiling, Aika said: “[T]he guy on the right in the photo would probably be pleased now that the time has finally come for this.”