By Angelo Samonte and Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA (28-Aug-2012/PNA) – Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras highlighted on Saturday the“tsinelas leadership” of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo that made him so popular with the common people.
Almendras, who delivered his eulogy Saturday night at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacanang, defined the “tsinelas” (slippers or sandals) leadership of Robredo as the pragmatic and more demonstrative version of servant leadership that the former interior and local government head always talked about.
“Tsinelas leadership is about the willingness na lumusob sa baha (wade in floodwater); the willing to go where you normally do not go; to the most remote areas just to be with the most disadvantage people. We all know Sec. Jesse rarely said ‘no,’” Almendras said during the Cabinet members’ memorial service for Robredo.
“That’s why he was one of the most well-traveled Cabinet members. He went to many places where some of us could not go to,” he added.
He said that tsinelas leadership is about leaders showing genuine concern and care for the people that they serve.
He added that other characteristics of the tsinelas leadership include breaking down the barriers between leaders and their constituents, and leaders casually dealing with people and going back to basics, base-level transformation.
“My wish, my prayer: sana po maging uso din ang sinimulan ni Sec. Jess na tsinelas leadership. Sana naman po hindi lang pang-picture taking ang tsinelas nilang suot. Sana po they will step up to the standards that have been set by Sec. Jess Robredo. And sana po they will be worthy to wear the tsinelas,” Almendras said.
Members of the Aquino Cabinet paid tribute Saturday evening to the late DILG Secretary in a memorial service at Malacanang.
President Aquino was beside Mrs. Leni Robredo during the tribute.
Among those who delivered messages were Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Luwalhati Antonino, and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
“Jesse brought to life a democracy. The government that is one of the people, by the people and for the people and I think all of us here can do no less in making sure that that lives on,” Soliman said remembering Robredo’s successes in Naga City and in Bicol region.
They also sang for Robredo, with the first two songs, “Impossible Dream”, and “My Way,” dedicated to the late secretary. The third song, “Betcha By Golly Wow”, was sang by the Cabinet members together with their spouses. They dedicated the song to Mrs. Robredo.
The members of the Aquino Cabinet had a photo opportunity at the conclusion of Saturday’s memorial service.
The Liberal Party had its separate memorial service before Robredo’s fellow Cabinet secretaries paid tribute to him.
The body of the late secretary was brought back Sunday morning to Naga City with the Presidential Security Group rendering the departure honors at the Palace grounds.
Interment will be on Tuesday morning in Naga City. President Aquino is expected to deliver a eulogy for the late secretary prior to burial rites.
Robredo and two others died when the twin-engine, four-seater Piper Seneca plane carrying them en route to Naga City from Cebu City crashed off Masbate Saturday afternoon.
Robredo served as Naga City mayor for 18 years before he was appointed as Interior and Local Government secretary by President Aquino in 2010. (PNA-PCOO)