Senators mourn Robredo; Lacson recalls support while in hidingBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Members of the Senate on Tuesday extolled Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s exceptional qualities as a person and as a government official, hours after divers recovered his body from the wreckage of a plane that crashed into the sea off Masbate late Saturday afternoon.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Robredo “quietly” helped him during the days when he was in hiding to avoid arrest in connection with the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, a party mate in the ruling Liberal Party, said Robredo showed “genuine sincerity to serve his country.”
Sen. Francis Pangilinan expressed a personal loss on the passing of “a longtime ally and a great friend.”
Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, the avowed father of the Local Government Code, paid tribute to the longtime Naga mayor, calling him an “exceptional public servant.”
“Jesse was an exceptional public servant, able and faithful to his oath of office. The nation is poorer because of this tragedy. God rest his soul and bless his family,” Pimentel said in a text message.
In a text message, Lacson said Robredo tried his best to convince Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to comply with the Court of Appeals decision reversing the finding of probable cause against the senator.
“A sad day for Filipinos. I will always remember and be thankful to Secretary Jesse Robredo for personally albeit quietly helping me during my difficult time while in hiding,” Lacson said.
“Not known to all, he tried his level best to convince DOJ Secretary De Lima to comply with the CA decision reversing the Manila RTC’s probable cause ruling against me. He was so real and natural as a person in dealing with people, close friends or not,” he added.
Drilon said he worked with Robredo to advance development among the local government units and in crafting party policies in the LP.
“Our country is grieving for we have just lost a man who had manifested genuine sincerity to serve his country. Truly, he was one of a kind public servant,” Drilon said.
“I was honored to have worked with Secretary Jesse on various projects to advance developments in the LGUs. Also, I salute Secretary Jesse for sharing vision with us and for helping us in crafting sound policies in the Liberal Party where he belonged,” he added.
Pangilinan, also a party mate of Robredo’s in the LP, said he lost a friend while the country lost “a rare and exemplary public servant.”
“His death is heartbreaking for he was a longtime ally and a great friend. I am terribly disheartened by this loss to the country of a rare and public servant,” Pangilinan said in a text message.
Sen. Francis Escudero, who himself suffered a loss quite recently with the death of his father, Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero, had another reason to mourn.
“The passing of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo is a tremendous loss for the entire nation. He was a stalwart and a pillar of our collective quest for change and good governance,” Escudero said in a statement.
“I mourn the loss of Secretary Robredo. He embodied everything a Filipino leader should be. He was an honored son of Bicol, a decent and loving husband and father, and a principled man whose honesty and integrity were beyond question,” Escudero said of his fellow Bicolano leader.