SIMPLY JESSE BOOK: The Story of Jesse Robredo

SIMPLY JESSE BOOK: The Story of Jesse Robredo 

I have fond memories of the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo. Not only was he a fellow Bicolano and mayor of Naga City for 19 years, he is also the son of my Papa’s former boss and was my Facebook (FB) Friend. Moreover, his wife, Atty. Leni Robredo, was my brother’s classmate in law school. 

Standing, left to right: AIKA and TRICIA ROBREDO, 
Seated, left to right Atty. LENI, JILLIAN and JESSEE ROBREDO
Jesse Robredo’s leadership qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence, and conscientiousness are the ideals which all would-be leaders must aspire for. Jesse Robredo is an epitome of the matino at mahusay na lider (sensible and capable leader). Above all, he was a true blue family man.

Everyone agrees that the very essence of Jesse Robredo’s management style and political philosophy is his favorite catchphrases “walang malaki o maliit sa akin, lahat pare-pareho.” (No one is big or small, everyone is equal to me.) Also, Jess truly believed that each task, no matter how big or small, is worthy of his best efforts. And he expected the same from his subordinates. 

This is probably the reason why Jesse did not think it was beneath him to sweep the streets, shovel dirt and clear debris after a typhoon, or to come to a Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) meeting in shorts and slippers. Jesse Robredo never got tired of exhorting his own people in Naga City and the DILG to take pride in their work and give it all they’ve got, regardless of how menial the task or how low their rank.

Jesse Robredo’s “walang maliit o malaki” philosophy goes against the traditional split-level democracy. Imagine, I was not yet of voting age when I met the good mayor. Who am I to deserve his time? But he was so accessible to everyone. Jesse Robredo was a person who is “madaling lapitan at madaling hanapin” (approachable and accessible).

I still vividly recall the time when I was still a student, I often saw Jesse Robredo, then mayor of Naga City, “in action” — wearing a T-shirt, shorts and slippers and going around Naga City to lead the clean up drive especially after a typhoon or to talk to his constituents to hear their concerns.

In Naga City, he was fondly called “Mayor” or “Pogi” He was really a simple guy. He was simply Jesse. To his youngest daughter Jillian, he was simply Papa.

So, as told by Jillian, the book “Simply Jesse” encapsulates the story of Jesse Robredo, a simple guy.

The book storyteller JILLIAN ROBREDO
What are you waiting for? Buy a copy Now! Net proceeds of Simply Jesse will be donated to the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation, established by his family and close friends to continue Jesse’s legacy of public service and good governance.

Simply Jesse is available in newsstands, bookstores, and supermarkets nationwide for only P 125. For more details, visit or visit the Summit Books Facebook page.

JESSE ROBREDO: Inquirer’s 2012 Filipino of the Year

JESSE ROBREDO: Inquirer’s 2012 Filipino of the Year

Source: Inquirer

Mayor Pogi is Inquirer’s 2012 Filipino of the Year. The (PDI) Philippine Daily Inquirer annually honors a living Filipino who has made the most positive impact on the life of the nation. It is only the second time since the beginning of the Filipino of the Year series in 1991 that the Inquirer voted for a nonliving Filipino. The first one being Fernando Poe Jr. who died in December 2004 and was named that year.

Sec. Jesse Robredo deserves to be honored. Maybe not a lot of you has been given the chance to know him personally when he was still alive because he is a very simple man with a big heart in public service. He is not the type that grab headlines or waste people’s money or talk about other people’s trash. He is a man of action.

Jesse’s tsinelas leadership inspires, lending a wealth of insight into the virtues of people-empowered governance and of unparalleled devotion to his constituents, spouse and children, parents and siblings. If only all the politicians in the Philippines will emulate Jesse’s tsinelas leadership…

He is a very hands on mayor. A guest in Naga City recalls how he personally saw Pogi’s tsinelas leadership:

“Let me share one experience I had with this man they call POGI. Jesse Robredo was walking in the city center when he noticed a drainage canal in front of the hotel where we are staying, he saw that it was clogged with trash,  without a second thought he cleaned it with his bare hands and and all the people around were shock to see the mayor cleaning a canal.”- Binatang taga Bukid

The Inquirer editors and assistant editors voted Jesse Robredo the Filipino of the Year for 2012. Of 63 votes, Robredo received 17; Luis Cardinal Tagle, 11; and President Aquino, 8. The rest of the nominees were, in the order of number of votes received: Cris Valdez, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Rep. Edcel Lagman, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, government and MILF peace panels, Dolphy, Filipino women, Filipino Indie makers, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Kevin Balot.

ROBREDO’S Plane Crash is due to Pilot Error

ROBREDO’S Plane Crash is due to Pilot Error

A mixture of sadness and dismay was what President Aquino felt after
investigators released their report mainly blaming the pilot for the
Aug. 18 plane crash that killed Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and two
others, including the pilot himself. 

A special investigation committee cited various errors by Capt.
Jessup Bahinting, the most flagrant being his failure to turn back the
plane to Cebu after an engine malfunctioned, showing a lack of
experience to handle an emergency situation. 

The committee also blamed engine failure and poor management by
AviaTour’s Fly’n Inc., including Bahinting’s supposed connivance with
officers of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for
the issuance of a certificate of airworthiness without proper tests.

The plane crashed into the Masbate Sea.

Mr. Aquino has informed Robredo’s widow, Leni, and her three daughters of the findings.

I first read the initial results of the investigation, I felt a mixture
of sadness and dismay,” Mr. Aquino told reporters. 

“The pieces of evidence pointed to one thing: If some people did
their job, if the rules of the industry were followed, if those involved
were only faithful to their obligations, the tragedy could have been
avoided,” he said.

Option of turning back

Mr. Aquino said Bahinting lacked the proper experience and
training for “one-engine inoperative emergency” even though some said he
was an expert pilot. 

“It’s clear he failed to fly the plane safely on one operating
engine. Apart from this, 23 minutes after taking off from Mactan, he
became aware that the engine malfunctioned, but instead of turning back,
they flew ahead to Naga,” he said. 

“They were airborne for 70 minutes before the plane crashed. That
means, if they had turned back immediately to Mactan, there was a high
possibility the accident could have been avoided,” Mr. Aquino said. 

The ill-fated Piper Seneca took off from Cebu International
Airport for Naga at around 3 p.m. At about 4:25 p.m., it crashed into
the waters of Masbate, killing Robredo, Bahinting and his copilot
Kshitiz Chand, from  Nepal.

Key errors


Robredo’s aide, Senior Insp. June Abrazado, survived, swimming through a hole in the plane to shore. 

Malacañang honored Robredo with a state funeral.

The committee, chaired by Capt. Amado
Soliman Jr., cited several key errors by the pilot, but the most
flagrant was: “When the right-hand engine became problematic, he
continued to fly away from Cebu instead of turning back.” 

While one engine had problems, both engines
were still functioning and continued to do so for 30 minutes. And Cebu
has the most modern air navigation and communication equipment, the
longest runway, the widest airstrip, the most advanced and most trained
crash, fire and rescue equipment, and personnel, it added. 

it was the pilot’s inability to control that aircraft on an emergency
situation where he lost one engine,” Soliman said. 

The other errors cited by the panel were:

  • The pilot had no previous experience on the flight route.
  • The pilot lost situational awareness with regard to the plane’s relative position to Masbate Airport.
  • The pilot’s license renewal did not cover “one-engine inoperative emergency” during his proficiency flight.
  • Upon entering Masbate airspace, the pilot undertook improper
    approach procedures, such as premature extension of landing gears and
    flaps, and improper approach maneuver.

Against procedures

Mr. Aquino said Bahinting’s premature
extension of the landing gear and flaps ran counter to the Piper Seneca
Flight Manual Procedures for twin-engine planes.

“According to the experts, this contributed
to the ‘drag’ that slowed down the plane until this could no longer be
controlled and it crashed,” he said. 

Accordingly, pilot error caused the crash,
and Bahinting “improperly handled a one-engine inoperative emergency,”
Soliman said during a PowerPoint presentation. 

Soliman said: “Among airline pilots, single
engine is just a routine maneuver. I don’t know why in general
aviation, there seems to be a problem. Even if you lose an engine—a twin
or a multi-engine aircraft—it doesn’t have to end in an accident. But
it will end in an accident if the pilot lacks the training to handle
that aircraft during an emergency situation flight having lost one

“It could have gone back to Cebu and still
landed with two engines because the engine conked out 37 minutes after
the first indication of trouble. So he was only 23 minutes out of
Mactan. He could have very well gone back to Mactan and land with two

Hard starting

The committee concluded that the right-hand
engine experienced “hard starting” after the installation of an
overhauled propeller, but this was not recorded in the aircraft logbook. 

Specifically, two screws that held the
idler gear shaft in place had “material failure.” The bent edge of the
lock plate that was supposed to lock the screw in place was also found

The committee concluded the stoppage of the
right-hand engine caused the emergency, saying the stoppage was “likely
caused” by intermittent fuel supply and erratic engine firing, and the
intermittent fuel supply was caused by parts failure due to bad

noted that AviaTour’s was not certified by the aircraft manufacturer
and by CAAP to conduct maintenance work on the aircraft. 

The committee found flaws in the management of AviaTour’s, including the improper issuance of an airworthiness certificate.


Airworthiness inspector Fernando Abalos
approved the test flight permit for renewal of the airworthiness
certificate for the plane on Jan. 7, 2012,  but there was no record in
the aircraft logbook of the test flight, the committee said. 

A check with Mactan airport log showed no flight plan for the plane was filed on that day, it added. 

Capt. Federico Omolon, AviaTour’s flight
instructor, testified that Bahinting asked him to sign the flight test
report even though he did not fly the plane on Jan. 7, the committee

On Jan. 17, Abalos endorsed the application
for airworthiness certificate renewal and an entry in the database
showed the documents for such a renewal had been reviewed by Abalos. On
Feb. 2, the certificate of airworthiness was released to Armand Gozum of
AviaTour’s, but this was predated to Jan. 7. 

‘Deception and fraud’

“Captain Bahinting connived with
airworthiness inspector Abalos to expedite the processing and approval
of the certificate of airworthiness,” the committee concluded. 

“It was clear that they committed deception
and fraud. The cost: The lives of three people,” the President said.
“This is a symptom of an anomaly in a system that has long prevailed,
and which we are now addressing. We will not allow this system to
continue. That’s why evidence would continue to be gathered to hold
accountable those who have shortcomings on the part of AviaTour and even
the CAAP.” 

Mr. Aquino ordered an audit of  the permits
and licenses issued by the CAAP and the strengthening of the rules for
the operations of  flying schools and airtaxis. 

“We don’t want this tragedy to happen to
anyone,” he said. “Jesse would want us to learn from the tragedy that
befell him. Let’s not allow his passing to come to naught.” 

CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III
ordered the creation of a special investigating committee to look into
the administrative and criminal culpabilities of CAAP and AviaTour’s

“AviaTour has been suspended but not its personnel, not yet. We need to go through due process,” Hotchkiss said.                                                                                   SOURCE: Inquirer


“Mission accomplished na siya sa mundong ito.” (He has accomplished his mission in this world.)

The wife of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said her husband often wondered if his works in the national government were appreciated. On the day he is laid to rest, Robredo got a resounding answer from his boss, President Benigno Aquino III.

Aquino paid a final tribute to Robredo, hailing him as a trailblazer in his administration’s campaign for a straight and narrow path.

Aquino delivered the eulogy for Robredo before a packed crowd of Robredo’s family, friends, Cabinet members, colleagues, supporters and well-wishers at the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia in Naga City on Tuesday, August 28.

The President summed up the various roles Robredo played in his 54 years.

“Nawalan po ng asawa at ama ang kanyang pamilya; nawalan po ang bayan ng isang tapat at mahusay na pinuno. Nawalan po ako ng isang kapatid sa opisyal na pamilya sa Gabinete, ng kasangga sa mga ipinaglalaban, at ng kapartido,” Aquino said. (His family lost a husband and father; the nation lost a faithful and competent leader. I lost a brother in my official family in the Cabinet, a comrade in advocacies, a partymate.)

Ultimately, though, Aquino said his loss was personal.

“Nawalan po ako ng isang mabuting kaibigan.” (I lost a good friend.)

Aquino said during the hours Robredo’s body had not yet been recovered, he was hoping the Secretary would suddenly show up and apologize for getting everyone worried.

Robredo’s plane crashed off Masbate on August 18. Aquino led the search operations in Masbate. On August 21, divers recovered Robredo’s body.

HIGHEST HONOR. Leni Robredo receives the Legion of Honor award on behalf of her late husband from President Aquino.

‘What you see is what you get’

After days of tributes and testimonials from those close to Robredo, it was Aquino’s turn to answer the question: who was Robredo?

“Talaga pong huwarang lingkod-bayan si Jesse: nakatuon palagi sa kapwa at handang magsakripisyo. Sa lahat ng mga nakakausap ko, siya ang taong walang kapasepasensya sa bola. Kay Jesse, what you see is what you get.” (Jesse was truly a model public servant: focused on others and ready to sacrifice. Among the many I have talked to, he is the person who hates flattery. In Jesse, what you see is what you get.)

Aquino recalled fond times with Robredo, particularly when the Cabinet would unwind through songs. He said Robredo would look for someone to sing with and was happy to share the chorus with a colleague.

“Pinakabuo ang kanyang ngiti kapag pasampa na siya sa entablado; tawa po siya nang tawa.” (His smile was biggest when he is onstage. He kept laughing.)

Aquino said this memory represents Robredo’s brand of leadership.

“Hindi siya naging kuntento sa status quo; pinatunayan niya sa Naga na posible ang pagbabago. Posibleng madaig ang sistemang matagal nang nangingibabaw; posibleng madaig ang mga pulitikong napakatagal namayagpag at kinasangkapan ang pusisyon para sa pansariling interes.” (He was not content with the status quo; he showed in Naga that change is possible. He showed that the prevailing system can be overcome, that we can defeat politicians who have long ruled and used their position for their personal interest.)

Aquino added, “Trailblazer po si Jesse sa tuwid na daan. Pinatunayan niyang puwede palang magtagumpay sa pulitika nang hindi nagiging trapo.” (Jesse was a trailblazer in the straight and narrow path. He showed you can succeed in politics without being a traditional politician.)

Aquino’s frontman

As an alter ego, Aquino said Robredo was one of a kind. While there are those who wait for the President to take the lead in addressing problems, Robredo himself would take the initiative.

“Si Jesse po, kabilang sa mga bibihirang tao na ang sasabihin, ‘Sir, ako na lang ang haharap, ako na lang ang pu-pronta.’” (Jesse is among those who will say, ‘Sir, I will be the one to face this.’)

At the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the President said Robredo was a fast worker, whose policy was to do everything ASAP.

The President recalled the time that informal settlers asked for help via text message because it was flooding and they were in the danger zone.

“Nag-text po sa atin na nanghihingi ng tulong at saklolo; kinakabahan sila sa paglilipat, at nagtatanong kung may kabuhayan ba silang daratnan. Kinausap po sila ni Jesse. Matapos ang dalawang oras na meeting, ang mga SOS text, naging thank you text na po. Salamat Jesse!” (They texted us asking for help. They were nervous about being relocated and were asking if they will have livelihood. Jesse was talking to them. After two hours of meeting, the SOS text messages became ‘thank you’ text messages. Thank you, Jesse!)

IMPRESSIVE FAMILY. Aquino thanks the Robredo family for their strength and for carrying the nation despite their grief.

Loss like Ninoy

Aquino said he witnessed how devoted Robredo was to his family. In the times he treated his Cabinet to meals, Aquino said Robredo would beg off if the event fell on a weekend.

“Sagrado sa kanya ang oras kasama ang pamilya. Palagi siyang nagmamadaling makauwi sa Naga.” (Family time to him was sacred. He was always rushing to go home to Naga.)

The President also paid tribute to Robredo’s widow, Leni, and daughters Aika, Patricia and Jillian for their strength throughout the ordeal.

“Talagang pinapahanga n’yo kami, dahil kayo pa ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa amin, kayo pa ang nagbibitbit sa amin.” (You really impressed us because you are the ones giving us strength. You are the ones carrying us through.)

Aquino said Robredo’s loss reminded him of the death of his father, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Yet like the generation of heroes inspired by his father, Aquino said he was certain Robredo’s death would spark the rise of new Filipino heroes.

The President ended his eulogy on a joyful note.

“Kaya’t huwag na po tayong lumuha. Sa halip, magpasalamat tayo. Sa maikling panahong narito siya sa mundo, tayo pa ang nabiyayaan ng pagkakataong makapiling si Jesse Manalastas Robredo.” (So let’s not cry. Instead, let us be grateful. In the short time he was here in this world, we were blessed with the opportunity to be with Jesse Manalastas Robredo.)


Mayor Jesse Robredo’s commencement address to the graduates of Ateneo de Manila University Class of 2003 while he was still the mayor of Naga City.

Toward the end of his address, Robredo gave this advice to the young people listening to him.
“This address will not be complete without venturing to answer the question as to where will you go from here,” he began.
“Should you choose to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond? Whatever your doubts are, follow your heart… I must say that desire and commitment far outweigh knowledge and skill. The latter can be learned. Without the former, your life’s work will be a profession and not a vocation. 
“You must always remember that you cannot give what you do not have. Measure success in terms of how pleased you are with what you have done and not as to how people define it, with its attendant perks.”
“Later on in life, you will realize that it is neither your successes nor your conquests that will give you satisfaction. It is your contribution that really matters—paying back what you owe the community that nurtured you.” 
Under the leadership of Robredo, Naga City achieved a remarkable record, being the “most awarded” local government unit in the country by Galing Pook, which in 1994 started recognizing the best practices in local governance. The city garnered its first Galing Pook award on its first year and to date has received a total of 14 Galing Pook awards. 
The folks behind Galing Pook (which means “Good Place”) distill 10 lessons and “guideposts” on the practice of good local governance as shown by the record of Robredo and Naga City. These are (edited only for space constraints):
  1. Improve productivity. Naga embarked on a program that aimed to bring out the full potential of various departments and offices of the entire city government. The program focused on four main thrusts of providing sufficient services; getting optimum outputs with minimum expenditure; producing quality results as desired and planned; and making services accessible and acceptable.
  2. Computerize. The city created an effective and efficient management system that streamlined business transaction processes, provided a dependable database for more effective decision-making, and made the city administration more responsive to its citizens’ needs.
  3. Empower the people. The city government laid down a clear and comprehensive framework that allows its constituents to take active part in governance. Nagueños are able to voice their concerns and suggestions to City Hall and act on various issues—from procurement to budgeting, to scuttling an initial plan of the local government to set up a golf course. As a result, 193 nongovernment and people’s organizations now work with the local government through the Naga City People’s Council.
  4. i-Govern. The city tapped the “power of information” and its value as a truly empowering tool when made accessible to the people. Nagueños need only to go online for their business license, birth certificate, or even when they want to bid for government procurements.
  5. Reinvent institutions. In the reinvented school board of Naga, the structure is able to ensure transparency, accountability, participation, and predictability. The membership has been expanded and has made education officials accountable to the public.
  6. Train the youth. The City Youth Month Program of Naga engaged the city’s top youth leaders to compete for any one of the 45 slots that would put them in executive and legislative positions, as well as in the nongovernment sector. The project enhanced greater involvement of the youth in government affairs.
  7. Be prepared always. Started in May 1991, Emergency Rescue Naga addresses the urgent need for fast and reliable service in times of emergency. ERN provides 24-hour quick response medical and protective services to all Naga residents in crisis situations.
  8. Prioritize the marginalized. Naga faced the challenges posed by informal settlers by launching the Kaantabay sa Kauswagan or Partners in Development Program in 1989 guided by two key principles. First, the government will not help the urban poor unless they actively participate in solving their own problems. Second is the tripartite effort among the urban poor organizations, national and local government agencies, and landowners in which the interests and abilities of each party are taken into account.
  9. Invest in children. The comprehensive and innovative pre-school program addresses the need for improved access and equity in quality education for the young. The program has also facilitated the integration of differently abled children in the mainstream of society.
  10. Together, we can do better. The Metro Naga Development Council pools together the efforts and resources of 13 local government units, the private sector and the national government agencies in Camarines Sur focusing on projects addressing the immediate needs of the community and lay the groundwork for long-term growth in the area.

Thanks to GMA News and to friends who passed this along.


Eulogy of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III President of the Philippines In honor of the late 
Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse M. Robredo

[Delivered at the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, Naga City, on August 28, 2012]

Bilang kawani ng gobyerno, tanggap na po dapat natin: Darating ang araw na bababa rin tayo sa puwesto—sa madaling salita, magreretiro. Ngayon pa lang po, nai-imagine ko nang magkikita-kita tayo sa isang restaurant nang may kani-kaniyang senior citizen card na nakasilid sa pitaka. Magkakainan tayo, magtatawanan, at pagkukuwentuhan kung ano ang mga pinagdaanan namin. Kung ano ang mga nagawa natin.

Hindi na po makakasama si Jesse sa mga kuwentuhang iyon. Hindi na po natin makakabiruan si Jesse tungkol sa pagkilatis sa mga manliligaw ng anak niya, at sa mga susunod pong taon, wala na rin siya para makipaglaro sa mga magiging apo niya.

Hindi madaling tanggapin ang biglaang pagkawala ni Jesse. Hindi po natin inasahan ang pangyayaring ito, ngunit sa kabila ng ating kaba at pagkabigla nang unang marinig ang balita, ginawa natin ang lahat ng ating magagawa upang mailigtas siya kung papalarin, at kung hindi man, upang mabigyan ng angkop at marangal na pagwawakas ang trahedyang sinapit natin. Habang humahaba po ang panahon, umasa tayo na isang minuto ay darating siya at sasabihing, “Pasensya na kayo, naabala ko kayong lahat sa tagal ng pagdating ko.”

Ngayon po, kaisa ako sa pagluluksa ng sambayanang napagkaitan ng isang tunay na lingkod-bayan. Kung mayroon pong Diyos na nagmamahal sa atin at bukal ng katarungan, sigurado akong kapiling na niya ngayon si Kalihim Jesse Robredo. Nawalan po ng asawa at ama ang kanyang pamilya; nawalan po ang bayan ng isang tapat at mahusay na pinuno. Nawalan po ako ng isang kapatid sa opisyal na pamilya sa Gabinete, ng kasangga sa mga ipinaglalaban, at ng kapartido. Nawalan po ako ng isang mabuting kaibigan.

Sino po ba si Jesse Robredo? Talaga pong huwarang lingkod-bayan si Jesse: nakatuon palagi sa kapwa at handang magsakripisyo. Sa lahat ng mga nakakausap ko, siya ang taong walang kapasepasensya sa bola. Kay Jesse, what you see is what you get. Tahimik at masipag siyang nagtatrabaho. Hindi siya nagpadala sa kapangyarihan. Sa kabila ng naabot niya, nanatiling simple ang kanyang pamumuhay, hindi nalalayo sa karaniwang taong napakalapit sa kanyang puso.

Si Jesse po ang tipo ng tao na batid ang kanyang mga kakayahan at limitasyon. Halimbawa po: sa kantahan. Kadalasan, kung may kasiyahan, kami-kami lang din ang nag-e-entertain sa sarili namin para makatipid. Si Jesse po, hahanap ng mga kasangga para may kasabay siyang kakanta ng chorus, at hindi na siya mag-i-individual performance. Pinakabuo ang kanyang ngiti kapag pasampa na siya sa entablado; tawa po siya nang tawa. Sa dami po ng mga talentadong nagkukumpol-kumpol, nakakapagtaka na halos wala kaming marinig sa mga boses nila bagama’t may mikroponong tangan o hawak.

Dalawa raw po sa paborito niyang kanta ay “My Way” at “Impossible Dream.” Tatak nga po siguro ito ng mga paniniwala niya. Hindi siya naging kuntento sa status quo; pinatunayan niya sa Naga na posible ang pagbabago. Posibleng madaig ang sistemang matagal nang nangingibabaw; posibleng madaig ang mga pulitikong napakatagal namayagpag at kinasangkapan ang pusisyon para sa pansariling interes. Trailblazer po si Jesse sa tuwid na daan. Pinatunayan niyang puwede palang magtagumpay sa pulitika nang hindi nagiging trapo.

Hindi po madali ang pagtahak sa landas na ito, lalo na noong nagsisimula pa lamang siya sa serbisyong pampubliko. Malawak at malalim ang mga pagbabagong inasam niya, at sinimulan niya ito ng hindi nakakatiyak kung may patutunguhan nga bang tagumpay. Katambal ng kanyang mga pangarap ang napakaraming mga praktikal na konsiderasyon, ngunit pinili niyang lumihis sa mga nakasanayang mga pormula sa pulitika. Alam po ito ng mga taong malapit sa kanya: mas pipiliin pa niyang makulong kaysa bumitaw sa mga causa na aming pinaniniwalaan. Nang nasa oposisyon po kami, hindi naman puwedeng suspendihin ganon lang ang mga nasa lehislatura, pero sa katulad niyang Mayor, laging nakabinbin ang banta ng pang-aapi o dineretso ngang inapi na. Mas marami at mas mabigat ang pagtatayang ginawa niya sa kanyang buhay pulitika. Ito pong isyu ukol sa kanyang citizenship, alam naman natin ang motibasyon. Pero hindi siya nagtanim ng galit sa mga nagsampa ng mga paulit-ulit na walang katuturang kasong ito.

Alam po natin ang katotohanan sa pulitika: may ibang nakangiti kapag kaharap mo, pero kung tumalikod ka, pakiramdam mo sasaksakin ka. Napahanga talaga ako ni Jesse, dahil miski ang nagpakita sa kanya ng di-kagandahang ugali, kaya niyang harapin nang walang bahid ng galit at pagkayamot.

Bukod sa mabait, matino, at mahusay si Jesse, mabilis din siyang umaksyon. Lahat, ASAP sa kanya; hindi niya ugaling patagalin sa mesa ang mga magagawa naman ngayon. Kung kayang simulan, sinisimulan agad niya. Naalala ko nga po, minsan may mga informal settler na kailangang ilipat, dahil nakatira sa danger zone sila kapag bumabaha. Nag-text po sa atin na nanghihingi ng tulong at saklolo; kinakabahan sila sa paglilipat, at nagtatanong kung may kabuhayan ba silang daratnan. Kinausap po sila ni Jesse. Matapos ang dalawang oras na meeting, ang mga SOS text, naging thank you text na po. Salamat Jesse!

Iba po talaga si Jesse. Kapag mayroon tayong matinding problemang kinakaharap, palagi naman pong nandiyan ang mga taong sumosuporta at magsasabing, “Nasa likod mo kami.” Pero si Jesse po, kabilang sa mga bibihirang tao na ang sasabihin, “Sir, ako na lang ang haharap, ako na lang ang pu-pronta.” Hindi po nasa likod. Talagang kasama sa pilosopiya niya sa buhay ang hindi maging pabigat sa kapwa; ang palaging mag-ambag ng pinakamalaki niyang maiaambag, o lagpas pa, para makahanap ng solusyon.

Kay Leni, at kina Aika, Tricia, at Jillian: Sa totoo lang, medyo nahihiya ako sa inyo. Kayo ang pamilya; sigurado akong pinakamabigat ang kalungkutang nararamdaman ninyo ngayon. Pero talagang pinapahanga n’yo kami, dahil kayo pa ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa amin, kayo pa ang nagbibitbit sa amin.

Leni, alam mo naman, hindi tayo masyadong nagkakakilala, dahil na rin pinilit ni Jesse na magkaroon siya palagi ng private time kasama ang kanyang pamilya. Alam ng Gabinete ito: Sa hirap ng aming mga pinagdadaanan, ang pinakagantimpala ko po sa kanila ay paminsan-minsan ang pagpapakain ng isang kaaya-ayang hapunan. Pero pag weekend ako nagyaya ng kainan, siguradong magpapaumanhin na si Jesse. Sagrado sa kanya ang oras kasama ang pamilya. Palagi siyang nagmamadaling makauwi sa Naga.

Hindi lang ang mag-anak na Robredo ang nawalan ng Padre de Familia. Pati ang buong DILG, ang mga nagtatrabaho sa field, ang lahat ng natulungan niya, ang buong Naga, parang nawalan ng ama. Kaya nga po bukod sa kalungkutan, matinding panghihinayang din ang nararamdaman ko ngayon. Ang dami niyang mga plano, at talagang kitang-kita na po ang direksyon ng mga reporma. Namuno siya sa pagpapa-totoo ng mga teorya sa pamamahala na pinag-uusapan lang sa mga libro. Ginawa po niya iyan sa Naga, at iyan din po ang nasimulan na niyang gawin sa pambansang antas. Kayo na po ang mamili– sa Bureau of Fire Protection, kung saan nakakuha siya ng mga fire trucks na mas mura pero mas maganda ang kaledad at mas marami ang kakayahan; sa BJMP; sa PNP; pati na ang mga informal settlers. Maraming mga lumang problema na, sa tulong ni Jesse, sa wakas, ay nakikitaan na natin ng solusyon. Sayang po talaga.

Ngunit wala naman sigurong magsasabing may kulang pa sa mga inambag ni Jesse. Dapat po yata, tayong mga nakinabang sa kanyang buhay at pagsusumikap, ang tumumbas sa kanyang mga nagawa, at mag-ambag naman ng parte natin.

Naalala ko pa po ang mga agam-agam namin nang biglaan ding pumanaw ang aking ama noong taong 1983. Marami po sa amin ang nagtanong: Paano na tayo? Sino ang magtutuloy? Parang ligaw na ligaw po kami; nawala ang aming pinuno.

Pero sabi nga po ng aking ina, “If cowardice is infectious, then bravery is all the more infectious.” Ang nag-iisa, dumami nang dumami hanggang nakamit na nga ng buong bayan ang pagbabago. Hindi mauubusan ng mga bayani ang lahing Pilipino. At kung si Jesse ay isa sa mga naging bunga ng sakripisyo ng aking ama, sigurado po akong may ibubunga ring mga bagong bayani ang pagpanaw ni Jesse.

Sa ipinapakitang pagpupugay at pagmamahal ng taumbayan ngayon, sigurado ako, may isang henerasyon na naman ng mga Pilipinong mabibigyang-inspirasyon, at mahihimok na maglingkod sa ngalan ni Jesse. Sila po ang magdadala ng katiyakan: Katiyakang makikita natin ang plano ng Diyos sa likod ng pagkawala ni Jesse. Katiyakang makukuha natin ang gantimpala ng katarungang nagbubukal sa pagmamahal ng Diyos: Na lahat ng kagandahan at kabutihang naidulot at naipunla ni Jesse, ay tunay at buong-buong mapipitas dahil sa dulot niyang inspirasyon.

Ang sabi po sa pangalawang liham ni Paul to Timothy, Chapter 4, Verses 6 to 7: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…” Angkop na angkop po ito kay Jesse; mission accomplished na siya sa mundong ito. Marapat lang na matamasa na niya ang mga gantimpala ng isang buo at mabuting buhay, sa piling ng Diyos Ama. Nasa hanay na po si Jesse ng mga bayaning sumusubaybay sa atin mula sa kalangitan, at nagbibigay-lakas sa atin upang ipagpatuloy ang kanilang mga mabuting gawain. Kaya’t huwag na po tayong lumuha. Sa halip, magpasalamat tayo. Sa maikling panahong narito siya sa mundo, tayo pa ang nabiyayaan ng pagkakataong makapiling si Jesse Manalastas Robredo. [Applause]

Paalam, Jesse. Sa ngalan ng sambayanan maraming, maraming salamat.

GOODBYE JESSE ROBREDO: Philippine Legion of Honor Award

Today, August 28, 2012, Tuesday, we will be saying our final goodbye to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary and former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo. He will be laid to his final resting place in his beloved Maogmang Lugar (happy place) – Naga City.
President Pnoy offered that Mayor Jesse be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery), but Jesse’s wife Atty. Leni turned it down because she knows that her husband won’t be happy about that.
It is hard for me to write about Mayor Jesse without ending up crying not only because I personally know the man but because he is so sayang. He could have been a good president. He led by example. He led without fanfare. He was also a fellow Tsinoy.  Robredo is an adopted name. His real surname is Lim. His dad is pure Chinese. Jesse is a Chinese mestizo but proud of his heritage. He visited his lineage in the village of Fujian province way back in 2004. His heart and soul is pure Filipino. He served as mayor in Naga City for 19 years.

A shovel in his hand, barefoot and working to empty the paths full of thick mud due to a recent  typhoon. Just like an ordinary laborer, he worked together with everyone else. Who would have thought that the guy is the Mayor of Naga City?
I often bumped into him in purontong shorts and slippers without any bodyguard. He walked in the streets of Naga and visited his constituents without the wangwang (siren) or Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). He treated everyone with respect and dignity. He never ever maligned anyone.
Maybe a lot of you do not know that Jesse Robredo is Dela Salle University/ Harvard-educated. Despite his achievements, he remained in the background. Never imposing. He was offered a job by the World bank at the same time that he was offered the DILG position. He chose to serve instead to the Filipino people than gain financial wealth for himself and his family. Yes, he chose to served YOU!

He is an extra ordinary Father and husband. Leni quips “He was always working so hard, but at the same time, always rushing home to be with his family”
His daughter Tricia recalled that whenever he is angry, (hey, he is still human:-P) he would bite his nails rather than say a bad word that might hurt other people.
He would tutor and create sample math problems for Jillian over the phone while in the middle of a meeting.
In parties, baptism, wedding or birthday he preferred to eat at the garage together with other people. He didn’t want to be treated as a Very Important Person (VIP).
He also introduced to the youth the Summer internship program. Yes, Nagueño youth was given a chance by Mayor Jesse to experience public governance every summer vacation.
He remained humble and a true Filipino in the real sense of the word, always ready to help, with or without cameras. 
The extraordinary greatness of Jesse Robredo lies in the fact that he showed extraordinary good behavior, good governance and good habits that many of our leaders no longer seem to have or never had. He served the Filipino people silently without the fanfare. He showed us that an ordinary promdi (slang for ‘from the province’) is capable of providing excellent public service.

You are truly a loss not only to Nagueño but to all Filipino people, Mayor Jesse Robredo.  Your Legacy of Hard Work and Dedication to work for the service of Filipino will forever remain in our hearts and minds.

With Mayor Jesse, what you see is what you get. He worked silently and never used his position to get financial gain.

It might take another 100 years for another Jesse Robredo to come in our midst. Jesse Robredo is a tough act to follow.
President Benigno C. Aquino will be conferring the Philippine Legion of Honor with the rank of Chief Commander on Secretary Jesse M. Robredo (posthumous) today, Tuesday, August 28, 2012, the same day as the State Funeral for the late Secretary. The medal was made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), the official manufacturer of State awards.
The Philippine Legion of Honor is considered the highest award the President can bestow without the need for approval of Congress.

President  Aquino will lead the state funeral, which includes full military honors, and deliver a eulogy for Robredo after this morning’s funeral Mass at Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Yesterday, August 27, 2012, during the observance of National Heroes’ Day , President Aquino honored Robredo, calling him a “true and a good leader” who “heroically” chose service over transactional politics.

“Tomorrow we’re bringing a true and a good leader, Secretary Jesse Robredo, to his final resting place,” the President said in a speech at Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“He heroically chose a simple lifestyle and focused on the welfare of others before himself, and put his principles above transactionalism,” quips Pres. Aquino.

The schedule includes final public viewing, the Legion of Honor ceremony and the state funeral.

The final public viewing starts after midnight on Monday and ends at

8 a.m. today, to be followed by the concelebrated requiem Mass at 10 a.m. 

Namumundo ako pero at the same time nauugma ta nakakamiaw bako lang ang Pilipino kungdi ang kinaban na may sarong extraordinaryong promding lider sa hinalian ming banwaan.
Goodbye, Mayor Pogi, we will miss you and your tsinelas (slippers) leadership. 
“Pogi,” is a Filipino word that means “handsome”. It is the nickname of Jesse Robredo in Naga City, where he served as mayor for 19 years.
Mabalos (thank you), Mayor Jesse.



Malacanang will hold a public viewing for Hon. Sec. Jesse Robredo at Kalayaan Hall :

Friday night, August 24, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Sunday morning, August 26, 2012  Robredo’s remains will be brought back to Naga City, his hometown. He will then be laid to rest on Tuesday,  August 28, 2012.

Tribute To Jesse Robredo

Everyone is invited to pay tribute to the exemplary life and work of Secretary Robredo through your testimonials and remembrances.
People are encouraged to use the unified hashtag #salamatjesse for their Twitter messages. Malacanang also invite all those who wish to share their thoughts, memories, and messages of sympathy for the Robredo family to please visit 
Photo source: Inquirer