Gift from God. Crusader of good governance. Humble, sincere servant leader.
These are just some of the plaudits accorded to Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo.
He deserves all the recognition and the state honors proposed by Congress.
It’s hard to begrudge those who thought up this idea considering the prevailing national sense of loss over Robredo and the compassion for his family and that of , Capt. Jessup Bahintang and even Nepalese pilot Kshitiz Chand.
But one has to take with a more than a grain of salt the statements of lawmakers who announced belatedly that Robredo would have been confirmed as a permanent secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG).
“We were deprived the honor of confirming a great man, one of the best in the Cabinet,” said Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez in a text message to the Inquirer.
Hollow words there.
The confirmation was supposedly scheduled on Aug. 29 after the necrological services for the late congressman Salvador Escudero.
One reason or another was given for the delayed confirmation—late submission of papers by the Palace, Robredo’s constant and busy schedule, local politics in Camarines Sur province.
One would also wonder whether Robredo’s role in the 2010 Rizal Park hostage crisis—today happens to be the second year anniversary—which tragically ended with the death of eight Hong Kong tourists and a former Filipino police officer, had anything to do with the delayed confirmation at the CA.
Robredo’s non-confirmation, along with a rather inappropriate disclosure by Sen. Panfilo Lacson about the late secretary’s behind the scenes dealings to help surface Lacson, is water under the bridge.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said it best when he pointed out that confirmed or not, Robredo was and will be recognized as DILG secretary under the Aquino administration at the time of his unfortunate demise.
During the 2010 Luneta hostage crisis, Robredo was humble yet realistic enough when asked in a TV interview what he would have done differently in dealing with the situation.
Saying that hindsight was 20/20 vision, Robredo said he “would have been more involved, I would have talked more with the people on the ground and continued with the negotiations.”
Nobody could have expected Robredo to be gone so soon.
Blaming Congress or the lawmakers for his non-confirmation won’t really matter anymore.
True to his word, Robredo continued to serve his country with tireless dedication until his death.
He left behind a legacy of good governance, principled leadershp, and grateful constituents.
That is reward enough.
More from this Column:
- For Cebu City in three years
- Plugging the holes
- Fall of (some of ) Cebu’s old guard
- Enhancing notoriety
- Peace must reign in polls