This time, Robredo won’t be around for ‘Peñafrancia’ feastBy Juan Escandor Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NAGA CITY—The man who was known as Naga’s longest serving mayor won’t be around when the image of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia is carried through the city next month.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s body was found by a team of divers in the wreckage of a light plane deep in the waters off Masbate City on Tuesday.
Robredo, who served as mayor for a total of 18 years before joining the Aquino Cabinet, was one of a multitude of pilgrims often seen journeying with the Bicol patroness in a fluvial procession to highlight a nine-day novena in her honor.
He was one of the men guarding and pushing the platform carrying the image of “Ina” during the annual procession attended by hundreds of thousands of devotees.
They will miss him this time.
Robredo was one of the five children of Jose Robredo Sr. and Marcelina Manalastas of Navotas, Rizal, who were married after World War II. Robredo Sr. survived a bullet wound in the stomach during the war.
Robredo was an honor student in his elementary years and in high school. He graduated with degrees in Industrial Management Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from De La Salle University in 1980.
He finished his Masters in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines in 1985. He was also a graduate of Masters in Public Administration at John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.
Before joining the government, Robredo was a junior executive of San Miguel Corp.
According to local historian Jose Barrameda, Robredo first entered government service in 1986 when he was 26. He headed the Bicol River Basin Development Program Office, an Asian Development Bank-funded program, for three years from 1986 to 1989.
In 1989, he became mayor of Naga, beating rival Ramon Roco, younger brother of the late Sen. Raul S. Roco.
He won the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, for demonstrating that “democratic government can also be good government.”
Robredo was also among the founders of Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership and a trustee of Synergeia Foundation, a coalition working toward improvements in the education sector.
He also headed the League of Cities of the Philippines, Bicol Regional Development Council, and the Metro Naga Development Council.
Born on May 27, 1958, he and his wife Leni had three daughters. With a report from Inquirer Research