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Sec. Robredo: Our Household Grieves with the Nation Over You

photo from Wikipedia
We are grieving.  My wife even tried in vain to hide her tears as news finally broke that the body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo has been found off Masbate Island.

This is a national loss.  How could we not grieve for one whom others have consistently called "one of the few good men" in Philippine government.

I blogged about him two years ago when there was talk that the President may transfer him to another cabinet position.  As DILG secretary he has immediately made changes upon holding office.  My blog two year ago only focused on his revocation of a tool used by Bureau of Fire personnel for corruption, the FALAR and the sale of Fire Extinguishers by BFP personnel.  You may read about that here.

So many Filipinos have taken to the internet to express their grief such as my friend's posts here and here.

We want and have been praying for reforms in our country.  The President has placed corruption and public service reform at the top of his agenda.  Secretary Robredo was one of those men who has been helping him do the job.

As I grieve I think of so many questions, especially the whys, and I also think of the "what could have been done differentlys".  We lost a great leader from a plane that crashed only 800 meters from a runway!  A distress signal and text messages have been sent 30 minutes from take-off.  Shouldn't a receiving airport have prepared for a crash landing?  Crash landing on sea water turns into a retrieval operation from search  and rescue in a few minutes.  What happens to the reforms he has started?  Will the president find another as skilled and principled as him?

So many questions as the reality sinks in...  We grieve with your family and the whole nation, Sec. Robredo...


Other interesting bits that  you may find of interest:

1.  Secretary Robredo's appointment has been bypassed on more than one occasion so his appointment has not been confirmed yet despite years of occupying the post already -- most likely cause, politics.

2. Sec. Robredo's position is somewhat the same as the position that fell to Andres Bonifacio's during the Tejeros Convention immediately after which  he was shamelessly sentenced to die by the very same compatriots whom he initiated into the Philippine revolution.  Bonifacio lost the leadership of the Philippine Revolution to the Magdalo faction leader Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on highly dubious circumstances.

3.  Sec. Robredo joins the fate of another popular leader in the person of President Ramon Magsaysay who also died in a plane crash in 1957.  Robredo is also a year 2000 awardee of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service.

4.  News reports has continued to present him as a humble, servant leader.  Senator Franklin Drilon also described him as the Liberal Party's (the president's political party) troubleshooter who solved party problems because of his level head and ability to talk to any kind of personality.  Any person who has followed the news the past few days will notice the simplicity of the Robredo house in Naga City despite holding the Mayor's office for three terms.

5.  Capt. Jessup Bahinting who piloted the private plane is also acclaimed in his own right.  He has been introduced in TV news reports as local hero in Cebu known as pilot and pastor who used his flying skills to serve and bring relief to others.


Thanks for respecting other readers.

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