By Sarah C. Imperial
NAGA CITY (23-Aug-2012/PNA) – More mourners pack the grounds of the Archbishop Palace day two of the wake for former Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse M. Robredo and there is no sign of letting up.
People from all walks of life lined up to bow or offer a prayer for the secretary who lies in state inside a flag-draped bronze coffin at the Palace. Most of them lingered to hear the mass celebrated four times a day.
On Wednesday afternoon,the Ateneans’ sponsored a march from the secretary’s alma mater to the Palace where another mass will be celebrated. Also joining in are Atty. Leni’s schoolmates from the Universidad de Sta. Isabel.
Elderly women would approach Atty. Leni Gerona Robredo, wife of the secretary, many of them weeping and saying why they are saddened by what happened. “He helped me when my son was in the hospital,” one woman in her 60s told Mrs. Robredo.
Yellow ribbons adorned vehicles, lampposts, trees and gates. Even pedicabs are adorned with yellow ribbons tied on their sidecars.
Mass cards are flowing in as well as resolutions of condolences.Flowers filled the pathway to the Archbishop’s compound prompting Atty. Leni to request the public that in lieu of flowers, a donation to her late husband’s favorite charities will be appreciated.
In her presscon this morning, Atty. Leni said her husband’s death seemed to her like “God’s reward for the good things he has done.”
She did not question God for his death. “I know he was prepared to meet the Lord. He goes to confession two to three times every month. He has been saying “he is already quotang quota, his cup is overflowing and he no longer dreams for himself. Just for his daughters.”
While they knew that her husband was loved by the people of Naga, she is happy to feel and see that he has touched so many lives and overwhelmed by the expressions of love from so many people all over the country, even all over the world.
“Jess used to say with some frustration, may epekto ba ang ginagawa ko?” Looking now at the tributes and expressions of sympathy pouring; in the place where he lies in state, at the tri media, the internet; Leni said “maybe what he did had indeed impact on people’s lives.”
Bicolanos predict a toned down Penafrancia festivities this year with the loss of her loyal devotee and much loved son of Naga where the feast is concentrated every year. The feast of Bicol’s patroness is celebrated every September.
The late secretary was a devotee of Ina, Bicolanos’ term of endearment for the miraculous patroness. “He was a devotee of Ina since he was 16 years old. Every year without fail, Jess joined the processions during the festivities,” said Mrs. Robredo.
In fact, photos of Sec. Jess showing him in the thick of the Traslacion and Fluvial processions have become viral in the social networks.
Asked where the family wants to bury the late secretary, Leni thanked the proponents of the move to bury the late secretary at the Libingan ng mga Bayani but added, “Jess would prefer to be buried here. This is his happy place.”
Sec. Jesse Robredo’s remains will be flown to Manila for viewing and memorial ceremonies at the Kalayaan Hall of the Malacanang Palace tomorrow. On Sunday, August 26, Naguenos will again welcome its favorite son in its arms until the cremation on Tuesday, Aug 28.
Cabinet secretaries Mar Roxas of DOTC, Bro. Armin Luistro of DepEd, Butch Abad of DBM, Teresita “Jing” Deles of the Peace Process Office, Senators TG Guingona, Francis Pangilinan, ex senator Jamby Madrigal, governors Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, Chavit Singson of Ilocos Sur, Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, mayors from as far as Zamboanga to Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal and Tabaco City Mayor Crisel Lagman Luistro, with their officials were among the those present to condole with the family of Sec. Robredo.(PNA)