Robredo would arrive earlier than most DILG employeesBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—Late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo started his day early, so early that he, sometimes, arrived ahead of all his employees at the DILG office in Quezon City.
“Sa pagpasok lang ng maaga, mas maaga pa sa amin ito [Robredo]. Nandito na agad s’ya . . . May mga pagkakataon nga na s’ya ang unang tao sa building ‘pag may gagawin sa opisina niya (Whenever he went to the office, he’s earlier than most of us. He’s already here ahead of us. There were times he was the first to arrive in the building if he’s doing something in the office),” said Kristoffer Jess Pangilinan, program organizer and coordinator of DILG’s Patrol 117 Commission during DILG employees’ tribute to their “boss and father” Wednesday, a day after Robredo’s body was recovered at sea off Masbate City.
If worse comes to worse that traffic along the busy road of Edsa will likely make him arrive late, “What he will do is get out of his car and just cross the road instead of waiting,” the employee recalls, adding that he would even gladly line up in using the elevator.
“Kapag nakikita niyang may nakapila, pumipila din po sya. Minsan nga nahihiya kami kaya pinapauna namin s’ya pero gusto niya nasa pila sya at maghihintay ng kanyang oras (If he sees a line of people [before the elevator], he would also fall in line. There were times out of shame, we tell him to go ahead of us but he would like to stay in line and wait for his time),” Pangilinan said.
In terms of work, the late secretary is as dedicated as he is with punctuality.
Recalling his boss’ words to DILG employees, Pangilinan said Robredo would always stress that what’s important is that there should always be results after a day’s work.
“Seryoso sa kanyang trabaho . . . gusto niyang makita na meron kang resulta (He’s serious in his work…he likes to see your output) at the end of the day,” he said.
Same with another employee, Bernadeth Obidosa from DILG’s accounting department, she said she would remember Robredo as “very hard-working and goal oriented.”
During the last time they had Robredo to lead their flag ceremony, Obidosa recalled his boss encouraging them to reach the goals they have set for the year, adding that while he is too serious with work, Robredo was among the nicest secretaries they ever had in DILG.
“Mabati sa mga empleyado (He likes greeting the employees),” she said, noting that Robredo would acknowledge employees when they greet them “good morning sir.”
“Parang kagaya mo lang din s’ya (He made you feel like he’s the same person as you are).”
When Pangilinan and Obidosa heard of the tragic incident that happened to Robredo, his aid, Jhun Abrazado, and two other pilots, they both wanted to cry their hearts out.
“Hanggang ngayon hindi pa din nag si-sink in sakin. Parang gusto ko nga lumuha (Until now, it hasn’t sink in. I just want to cry),” he Pangilinan said.
“Yung naramdaman ko grabe . . . hindi ko maintindihan. Grabe talaga. Sinabi ko sa sarili ko “ano ba yung nagyari na ‘yon (I can’t understand what I feel. I ask myself why did it happen),” Obidosa said.
Robredo died Saturday evening after the Piper Seneca plane he was riding on his way home to his family in Naga City crashed in the waters off Masbate City.
Abrazado was plucked from sea after the incident, but Robredo and pilots Captain Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese co-pilot and flight student Kshitiz Chand didn’t share the same fate.
It was only after almost three days when Robredo was recovered from the ill-fated plane, while retrieval operations continue for the pilots.
Malacanang issued Proclamation No. 460 later Tuesday declaring the national days of mourning for the late secretary that shall be observed until Robredo’s burial.