Human rights lawyer Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona Robredo, has devoted her entire professional life in the service of the most vulnerable sectors of Philippine society. As a Public Attorney, as member of the alternative lawyers group SALIGAN, and as Representative of the Third District of Camarines Sur, she has remained constant in her priority attention to farmers and fisherfolk; women, particularly in oppressive circumstances; and indigenous people.
The Vice President was initially known as the widow of the beloved Mayor of Naga City and Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. After the tragic air accident that took the life of Secretary Jesse Robredo, the public quickly recognized Atty. Robredo as her husband’s full partner in the advocacy for good governance, ethical leadership, and citizen participation in the work of government. In this work, she brought to bear her degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines (1986) and her bachelor of laws degree from the University of Nueva Caceres (1992). Passing the bar in 1997, Atty. Robredo has since sustained a commitment to the use of legal means to assist in the self-empowerment of the underprivileged.
Convinced to take up this advocacy as a politician, she ran and won a seat in the Sixteenth Congress. Within three years, she successfully brought to full passage the Extension of the Corporate Life of the Philippine Railways Corporation, the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act and the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act. When, on October 5, 2015, she accepted the challenge to be candidate for Vice President, Representative Robredo launched an advocacy-driven campaign. From one percent, her survey ratings climbed consistently. On May 30, 2016, the Joint Houses of Congress proclaimed Leni Robredo as the 14th Vice President of the Philippines.