Priest describes Robredo ‘a saint in our midst’By Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines — The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo was described “a saint in our midst” during a mass held at Camp Crame Wednesday afternoon.
“He treats everybody as equal, rich or poor, all throughout his stewardship as mayor of Naga City and until the last moment of his life. Wala po siyang pinipili, rich and poor alike,” Father Lucio Rosaroso said during his homily.
“Secretary Robredo has shown us the example of how to become a servant leader, and let us pray that all of us would follow his example. He is a saint in our midst,” he said.
Rosaroso said that the late secretary had died too soon, because he was still in the prime of his service to the public. Robredo had previously served as mayor of Naga City, for which he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award, widely regarded as the Nobel Prize of Asia.
Robredo perished in a plane crash Saturday off the coast of Masbate. He was on his way to his hometown of Naga City when the Piper Seneca he was riding had allegedly encountered engine trouble and requested to make an emergency landing in Masbate airport. The plane crashed 500 kilometers from the runway.
“This is the message I believe he would like to drive home for us. No matter how short or long our service is, the most important thing is how much love do we put into our service?”
“He puts love into his service. That is what’s important, putting love into service,” Rosaroso said. “He has given us that example. As we pray for his eternal repose, I pray also that all of us could learn from his example,” he added.
Rosaroso recalled that Robredo would always go to confession once a week in the chapel. Robredo was a devotee of the Lady of Peñafrancia, he said.
Two pilots of the plane had perished with Robredo while his aide-de-camp was the only survivor of the crash. Robredo’s body was recovered Tuesday morning and was brought to his hometown of Naga City by President Benigno Aquino III.