Netizens’ outpouring of laments over Robredo demise at feverish paceBy Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The hashtag was simple but probably best captured a forward-looking approach to the fate that befell Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo—“SalamatJesse.”
At one point, timelines were being updated with three new tweets on Robredo every few seconds, an indication of the feverish pace of the outpouring.
Moments after Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas broke the news in Masbate City that Robredo’s body had been found in the plane wreckage, collective grief and tribute flooded social media circles such as Twitter.
From top politicians and celebrities to ordinary folks, the chorus of tweets had a common theme: Robredo was a “good man,” “a true public servant” and he was “gone too soon.”
Some tweets were deeply personal as in the case of those who closely knew Robredo, a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award who was credited for turning his hometown Naga into a first-class city.
Others heard only about the man’s work mainly through the media. But his message of good governance was unmistakable.
Broadcast journalist Ciara Zambrano tweeted a quote from the late Robredo on transparency: “It’s not enough for an official to be good. There has to be a system that forces them to be good.”
Netizens picked up GMA News’ tweet on how the Interior Secretary viewed the role of public servants. “Their mission is ‘to serve and not to be served,’” he was quoted by the TV network as once saying.
Others noted that Robredo’s body was found as the country was commemorating the death anniversary of former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.
“So we mourn the loss of a great man who had so much potential to change our country for the better,” tweeted Juanhappiness.
Wrote Janelledane: “You are indeed a true leader and a servant of your country.”
Account holder Agretch thanked Robredo for “the service you’ve done to the Filipino people,” while Audrey Eunice expressed her gratitude “for your huge help in Naga and to our country.”
News anchor TJ Manotoc tweeted about how the bad news was affecting him in the middle of a program: “This is tough, holding back … on air while reading messages from gov’t officials, personalities … no doubt he was a good man.”
Wrote broadcaster Ces Drilon: “My mom would still dream that my dad would knock on the door and come back home up to now. Robredo’s passing became personal to us.”
A news manager at ANC recalled that Robredo was a guest on a program a day after monsoon rains triggered massive flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
“Tired & sleepless, he asked me for coffee. It was an honor to have served him that way,” the tweet went. “I will always remember Sec. Robredo as (a) humble man so gracious & so generous with his time…”
Some netizens sought something positive in the passing of a “great man” in Robredo.
“We didn’t lose a person. We gained an angel,” wrote Carmcastelo.
Tags: Air accidents , Aviation , Benigno Aquino , Death Notice , DILG , Government , Internet , Jesse Robredo , Masbate , Naga City , Philippines , Politics , Robredo Plane Crash , Social Media , Twitter