MANILA (21-Aug-2012/PNA) -Top government officials expressed condolences with the family of the late Secretary Jessie Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), saying the country has lost a “fine public servant.”
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the entire Cabinet of the Aquino administration mourned Robredo’s passing as “an icon of good governance and faithful stewardship.”
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the DILG Secretary was well loved by his colleagues at the department.
“May lambing po sa tao si Secretary Jesse. Sa panahong naroon siya sa DILG, naging less controversial yung lugar at minamahal siya nang husto,” he said.
“Si Secretary Jesse kahit late at night may mga meeting na tatapusin. Hindi niya pinapalipas ang isang araw na may hindi naaayos,” he said.
National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that Robredo’s untimely death was a great blow to the government’s continuing efforts to reform the bureaucracy.
“His passing is a great loss to our continuing efforts in reforming bureaucracy and the road to good government,” Gazmin said.
Gazmin also took time to state that Robredo was a model family man and public servant.
Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon in a statement said: “The void (Interior and Local Government) Secretary Jesse (Robredo) has left wouldn’t be easily filled, but his passing should be the start of a revolution.”
Like the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino passing on Aug. 21 that started a freedom revolution, Biazon said, “let Aug. 21 be the start of a good governance revolution in Secretary Jesse’s name.”
He said that up to the time of Robredo’s death, “he was fulfilling his role as a family man, balancing it with his duty to the country.”
Biazon also said all offices of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in the country should fly the Philippine flag at half mast in honor of the DILG Secretary.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim has also ordered all city government offices and schools to display the Philippine flag at half mast to mark the passing of the DILG Secretary, whose body was found at 8:15 this morning.
Robredo was on his way to Naga City from Cebu City when his plane crashed last Saturday afternoon (Aug. 18) off Masbate.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process (OPAPP) said Robredo played a major role in the ongoing peace negotiations of the government.
“Naging malaking bahagi si Secretary Robredo sa patuloy naming pagsulong ng kapayapaan. Mananatili siya sa aming puso,” it said in a statement.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), in its statement said: “We mourn the passing of a good man and outstanding public servant, Secretary Robredo.”
“Many words have already been uttered to describe Sec. Jesse’s exceptional work as a public servant. His unflagging sense of integrity and diligence served as an example to many of his colleagues in and outside government, and these same qualities have made him a most valuable and highly regarded member of President Aquino’s cabinet,” it said.
The DBM said that under Robredo’s leadership, the DILG was able “to make significant breakthroughs in establishing good governance practices among local government units and key government institutions.”
“As brief as Secretary Jesse’s term was, we fervently believe that the reforms he championed in the DILG will be sustained faithfully long after his passing. His work and legacy will always be timeless. He was a rare man whose exemplary deeds spoke well and true for him. He will always be remembered as such,” it said.
Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima said in a text message on Tuesday: I am too devastated to say anything. I’m sure many others feel the same way,”
Robredo was the Vice-Chair of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC), which conducted an investigation on the Aug. 23, 2010 Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking incident.
The incident claimed the lives of eight Hong Kong tourists, including the hostage-taker himself dismissed Manila Police District (MPD) Sr. Insp. Rolando Mendoza.
However, Robredo inhibited himself on the discussion on the accountability of local officials.
Robredo also worked closely with the DOJ in several issues, including the crackdown on illegal numbers game “jail-alai” operations that even reached the Court of Appeals (CA). (PNA)