Leni Robredo: 'People should know my narrative'

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Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo said people should vote for her because of what she has accomplished and "not only because I'm the widow of Jesse."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — As seen by many, the image of Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo is very much dependent on the legacy of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Though she is fine that people are associating her with her late husband, she said that there are other reasons for people to vote for her next year.

"I am proud to be known as the widow of my husband," she said. "But I think that is not enough that people will vote for me because I am the widow.

Robredo said this in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines on Friday (October 16).

"It is not enough that I win the elections based on sympathy," she said. "It is not enough that people will vote for me because they see me as an extension of my husband. It will help, but it is not sufficient."

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That's why it's an immediate goal of hers to inform the voters of who she really is, based on the things she has accomplished as a public official.

"I've been working with the basic sectors for so long," she said. "I worked with an NGO [non-governmental organization] for more than 10 years. This was my world before my husband died.. This was my world before I ever thought of entering politics."

"People should know my narrative, para naman bobotohin ako not only because I'm the widow of Jesse," she said.

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Empowering people

Meanwhile, Robredo said the country needs genuine people empowerment.

She admitted that if she should win the vice presidency she would want to continue her advocacy of empowering the marginalized.

"My life's work has really been about the empowerment of basic sectors. Palagay ko it will solve a lot of society's problems," she said.

Read: LP bets Mar Roxas, Leni Robredo file COCs

She added that people should be treated and regarded as part of the government, rather than just being beneficiaries on the outside looking in.

"When people are more empowered they are able to engage with government in a more effective and efficient manner," said Robredo.

"Kasi when people are treated as not part of the government, parang yung tingin sa gobyerno kalaban e. I think the government should exert more effort in opening spaces for people participation so that we develop a constituency that's more collaborative than critical."

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.