Robredo would have become PresidentBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s a big chance Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo would have been made to run for President in 2016.
He would have beaten Vice President Jojo Binay, a presidential wannabe, hands down.
But with his death, it was not to be.
A Ramon Magsaysay awardee, Robredo had the makings of another President Magsaysay, a man of the masses.
A very honest and dedicated public servant, Robredo treated the small people in equal footing with the high and mighty.
When he was mayor of Naga City, he talked with his poor constituents in the streets like he was one of them.
People now realize how honest he was when his house was shown on national television. It looks like an apartment, unusual for a man of high stature.
The late interior secretary didn’t engage in land speculation in Naga City by buying real estate property knowing the city would become very progressive during the years he was mayor, unlike a Metro Manila politician whose family owns half of the town they have ruled for decades, and who owns a huge farm in Batangas.
When Robredo’s nine-year term as Naga City mayor expired, he didn’t have his wife take his place when he could easily have done so since Leni Robredo is a lawyer.
Jesse Robredo’s statesmanship is a tough act to follow.
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The Commission on Appointments (CA) has finally approved Robredo’s confirmation as interior and local government secretary two years after withholding his appointment.
Mga ulol! Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?—Old Filipino saying.
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“A public officer must not be too thin-skinned with respect to comments on his (or her) official acts.”
Stressing this, the Court of Appeals acquitted Cavite Provincial Prosecutor Manny Velasco of libel.
Velasco had charged retired Caloocan City Judge Adoracion Angeles with multiple counts of child abuse for allegedly maltreating her young housemaid.
But apparently as a result of Angeles’ lobbying with her fellow magistrate, a Manila regional trial court found Velasco guilty of libel.
(Don’t look now, but the judiciary is an Old Boys and Girls Club and its members protect one another).
The libel complaint stemmed from Velasco’s comment, made on national television when he was special prosecutor, that his boss, then Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero, interfered in the child abuse case against Angeles, a move that paved the way for the dropping of charges against her.
Velasco, son of former director Epimaco Velasco of the National Bureau of Investigation and a former newspaper reporter, had discovered a letter Tuquero wrote to then Undersecretary Antonio Llorente asking the latter to drop the charges against Angeles since she was a “former colleague.”
See what I mean by my comment above about the judiciary being an Old Boys and Girls Club?
A judge who is hearing a criminal case against a fellow judge will acquit the latter because of the protectionist mentality among most members of the judiciary.
More from this Column:
- It pays to be corrupt
- Chinese trader corners banknotes manufacturer
- An incompetent airport manager
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner