Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Truth About Jesse Robredo

Emotional Testimony from AIKA ROBREDO (daughter of DILG Sec Jesse Robredo): 

Now that I know what the Ramon Magsaysay Award is all about, I feel truly blessed that I happen to be his daughter. I was born exactly six days before he was first elected mayor and I spent the first 10 years of my life with him at City Hall.

If there was one thing that convinced me that he is truly deserving of the award, it is this: He has never made me feel I was different from others just because he is my father. As he goes about serving others, I have never been left wanting for his time and attention. He eats lunch and dinner with us seven days a week, even if it means he has to take two or three more meals because he has to attend a constituent's wedding or birthday reception. No occasion is too trivial for him. He is there for us not only during PTA meetings or piano or ballet recitals, but even when my math homework gets a little too difficult.

Filipino Nation Mourns for Jesse Robredo

By Lilybeth G. Ison

Both Houses of Congress - the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed deep sympathy and prayers to the family of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, whose body was retrieved this morning off the waters of Masbate.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. described the DILG Secretary as "a good man."

"That fact is a great source of pride for you and for those of us in government who worked alongside him," he said.

Beyond Robredo's numerous accomplishments as a government official, Belmonte said, "it weighs more as it recognizes and respects his integrity, sincerity and dedication as a public servant as well as a family man."

He noted that Robredo's work as Mayor of Naga City before he joined the Cabinet of the Aquino administration "not only earned him repute as the first Filipino Mayor to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, but earned him the love and admiration of his constituents."

"To his wife Atty. Lenny, and his daughters Aika, Patricia and Jillian Therese, as well as to the pilots' families, we condole with you and sincerely share your loss. To those who untiringly searched for him and his pilots -- Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Capt. Kshitiz Chand -- we offer our gratitude for your priceless efforts. To those who prayed with us our gratitude as well," he said.

"We may not understand the ways of the Almighty but know that it is certain that Jesse is in His care and continues to watch over this nation that he loved dearly," he added.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, for his part, said Robredo was "a rare political breed nowadays... a perfect epitome who faithfully practiced President (Benigno) Aquino III's straight path (Daang Matuwid) type of governance."

"A man of action and conviction, he (Robredo) will truly be missed not only of the Aquino administration but of the entire nation. The momentum for initiating reforms is right in front of us right now, and the untimely passing of Secretary Jesse hopefully further invigorates us working in the government to continue on with his legacy, with his brand of principled leadership," said Angara in a statement.

He said that the best tribute Filipinos can give to a great man like Robredo is to continue the fight.

"Secretary Robredo, as a modern day hero and public servant, should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," he noted.

Western Samar Rep, Mel Senen Sarmiento said the passing of the DILG Chief "is such a great loss to the improvement of local governance in the country, a key factor in our nation's growth."

"We will miss him as a colleague in the League of Cities of the Philippines. Secretary Jesse Robredo is truly an icon in local governance," he said.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles also expressed deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and loved ones of Robredo.

"We pray for his (Robredo) eternal rest and we pray that his family remains strong during these times," he said.

"Secretary Robredo was loved by so many. More than his accomplishments, he will forever be remembered for the many lives he has touched and changed for the better. We will miss him dearly," he added.

Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Trenas also described the DILG Secretary as "a model public servant."

"We were together in the League of Cities for nine years. He (Robredo) was someone I always respected. He was one of the most decent secretaries of the President. He is a great loss to the country and to the local governments," he said.

Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, for his part, said that the country "has lost a humble, hardworking, and honorable man" with the passing of Secretary Robredo.

"He loved Naga City and made it a better place to live in. He loved his mother tongue and was a firm believer of using it as a language of learning to improve functional literacy," he said.

Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones also described the DILG Secretary as "one of the most hardworking credible members of PNoy's (President Aquino) team."

"He (Robredo) is a big loss to good governance. Let's pray for him and his family in this trying time," he said.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casino said he sends his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Secretary Robredo.

"Secretary Jesse was an outstanding local chief executive and a very competent Department Secretary. He was one of the few Cabinet members who we truly respected and appreciated. We were witness to his compassion for the informal settlers whose violent demolitions we both tried to stop. His death is a big loss to the cause of good governance," he said.

Cebu Rep. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing, on the other hand, said the country has lost "a sincere, honest and hardworking public servant."

Robredo was coming from the groundbreaking of the PNP training School in Consolacion, Cebu when the plane he flew on his way to Naga crashed Saturday afternoon off the coast of Masbate.

In Cebu, pilots Capt. Jessup Bahinting was also hailed as a local hero "for he selflessly lends his services and his planes for charitable activities, relief operations and worthy causes," said Quisumbing.

Most recently, he said, Capt. Bahinting flew in anti-venom medicine to treat a critically ill snake-bite victim in Cebu.

"We will not forget the service Capt. Bahinting rendered for his community, for his fellow Cebuanos and for our country. He left a legacy that his family and fellow Cebuanos will always be proud of," the Cebu solon said.

Camarines Sur Rep. Dato Arroyo, a member of the House minority bloc, said that it was never politics for the DILG Secretary.

"Despite being on different sides politically, he'd (Robredo) always talk to me and help me out when he could," he said.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said the country is grieving for "we have just lost a man who had manifested genuine sincerity to serve his country."

Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said Robredo "is a tremendous loss for the Philippines."

"He (Robredo) was a stalwart and a pillar of our collective quest for change and good governance. I mourn for his loss. He embodied everything a Filipino leader should be," he noted.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party (LP), in a statement, said, "We at the Liberal Party mourn the passing of our beloved Executive Vice President, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, who has been an inspiration for all of us, given his steadfast dedication in public service and indisputable track record in good governance."