Talk of Robredo replacement after burial, party spokesman saysBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—All talk about a possible replacement for Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo should cease until after the esteemed public official has been laid to rest, one of his party mates said Thursday.
Deputy House Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, who is also a spokesperson of the Liberal Party, said the party has not even had time to discuss the matter of finding an individual to fill Robredo’s shoes.
“This matter shouldn’t be discussed yet. Let us wait for our beloved Secretary to be laid to rest before we speculate on who will replace him,” Tañada said at the Serye forum in Quezon City.
President Aquino also has a lot of other things on his mind, Tañada said. He said the chief executive was still grieving for Robredo, and at the same time also has to prepare to choose the country’s next chief justice.
He said that after the plane crash, the Liberal Party was busy praying for the safe return of Robredo, and then bringing his remains home to his family. It is currently focused on preparing for his state funeral, tentatively set for Tuesday.
Thus, there is no time to tackle Robredo’s replacement for now, he said.
As for the names being floated around as Robredo’s possible successor for the powerful interior and local government portfolio, Tañada said nobody from the Liberal Party was given the authority to release any names.
“That’s a very sensitive issue. That will be tackled at the right time,” he said.
Speculation is rampant on who would replace Robredo, a multi-awarded and highly respected official who had won accolades for the stunning transformation of his hometown Naga.
The DILG post, which oversees the Philippine National Police and local governments, is considered crucial in generating support especially in elections.
Given the high regard that many people have for Robredo, there have also been numerous calls from social networking site users for the administration to choose an equally honorable replacement for the late secretary.
Public officials have likewise rushed to join the outpouring of praise for Robredo, with the members of the Commission on Appointments even trying to give him a posthumous after repeatedly bypassing him.
But Tañada said Thursday that a posthumous confirmation was against the rules of the commission, based on his own study of the rules and reading of the Constitution.
Besides, the people viewed Robredo as their interior secretary, with or without a confirmation.
“Ask anyone out in the street who is the secretary of DILG, they don’t care if it’s an ad interim secretary or an OIC, the people will tell you it is Secretary Jesse Robredo,” he said.