Aquino to lead rites honoring Robredo
President Aquino is scheduled to fly on Monday to Naga City to lead the commemoration of the third death anniversary of former Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, who died in a plane crash on Aug. 18, 2012, off the coast of the island-province of Masbate.
The President will be joined by Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and several other Cabinet members, according to Malacañang.
The Palace Monday cited Robredo, husband of Rep. Leni Robredo, as one of the many Filipinos who “not only dedicated their career to public service but also led a life worthy of example.”
In a statement, it noted that “throughout his decades of public service, Secretary Robredo consistently demonstrated his outstanding capabilities as a leader, whether as mayor of his hometown Naga City or as head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.”
“His six terms in Naga City were marked by improvements in development and public participation in governance, and today we remember him for the reforms he initiated, including the full disclosure policy, which advances transparency in local governance,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
Aquino, along with his Cabinet members, “will visit Secretary Robredo’s tomb [Monday],” he said.
Neon ‘tsinelas’ run
The celebration of Robredo’s life reportedly started on the eve of Aug. 17, where a so-called “neon tsinelas (slippers) run,” which involved slipper-clad runners adorned with glowing neon bands and powder, was held in the city.
The tsinelas symbol represents Robredo’s good governance practices sans fanfare and down-to-earth public service.
The neon tsinelas run was scheduled to start at Eternal Gardens memorial park where Robredo’s remains are interred and end at Plaza Quezon in the old Naga central business district.
On Tuesday morning, the activity will start with a Mass and laying of wreath at the same cemetery, about 2 kilometers from the Naga City Hall complex where a commemorative program in honor of Robredo will be held.
This week, the country will also celebrate the lives of two other Filipinos, who like Robredo, also shaped its history: the late President Manuel L. Quezon and Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., father of President Aquino.
“On Wednesday, we celebrate the 137th birth anniversary of President Quezon, the first President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines,” Lacierda said.
Quezon’s “accomplishments as a statesman include the ratification of the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which led to Philippine self-government and eventual independence from the United States.”
“Also among his legacies are his advocacy of women’s suffrage and the institutionalization of Filipino as our national language,” Lacierda said.
Friday is Ninoy Aquino Day, a special nonworking holiday.
“Thirty-two years ago, amid warnings and fears for his safety, Sen. Ninoy Aquino returned to the country and proved that indeed, the Filipino is worth dying for. His death served as the prime catalysts for the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, which eventually ended the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos,” Lacierda said.
“In this time of remembrance, let us reflect on his undelivered arrival statement, which is available on gov.ph both in its original English and in the Filipino translation,” he said.
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