Robredo who? | Inquirer Business
Point of Law

Robredo who?

/ 01:09 AM September 13, 2012

Until news broke on August 18 that the plane carrying him and his aide had crashed, many Filipinos had not heard of Jesus Manalastas Robredo.

We knew little of how the late Interior and Local Government Secretary had been fighting for a better Philippines since 1998, and this is because Robredo chose to serve our country away from the limelight—working silently behind the scenes, living a simple life and going unnoticed.

Unlike the hundreds of traditional “EPAL” politicians who plague our country, Robredo was that type of public servant who did his job with a sense of anonymity.


He did not cause his picture or name to be posted along Edsa and the national highways to announce his projects. He did not brag about how he had turned Naga into the premiere city in Bicol. Neither did he do things to win international awards. Awards just came as a consequence of his good deeds.


I did not have the opportunity to meet the good secretary; much less have the honor to work with him, but stories of how Secretary Robredo had touched countless lives are abundant.

The death of Robredo reminded those who chose to serve our country of what public service should be.

“No, I cannot do it” is something that Secretary Robredo did not live by nor say to the people.

On the day of his death—a weekend—he was in Cebu for an official function. He silently heeded a call of duty even if it meant missing his daughter’s awarding ceremony—something that he truly cherished as a father.

He chartered a plane to go home and spend the weekend with his family, but met only his untimely death.

What lies next? Will the Robredo brand of service end with his death? The nation is tired of the common “all talk-no action” kind of leadership.


The untimely death of Secretary Robredo should teach our public servants to let their actions do the talking for them, and not the other way around.

Now is the most opportune time for renewed vigor and enthusiasm in our beloved country.  After all, there are still many exceptional public servants who choose to silently serve like the late secretary.

There are questions surrounding the plane crash that led to the death of Secretary Robredo. Theories of foul play and flames of suspicion are spreading across the nation.

There are rumors of jueteng protection and other sensitive matters being investigated by the late secretary.

It is only natural for people to search for answers to questions, which are difficult to explain or usually have no explanation.

President Aquino nevertheless defended former Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno, who was allegedly a subject of Robredo’s investigation, by saying that he ordered him to secure sensitive documents, which were in the possession of Robredo.

Some observers accuse the President—wrongly perhaps—of sticking to his personal friends in government through thick and thin, no matter what.

It may thus do well for the President to order a full and no-nonsense investigation, not only on the circumstances surrounding Secretary Robredo’s death but also on those matters that were being investigated by the late secretary. Anything less will be an insult to the memory of the late secretary, who staunchly fought for the President’s “Tuwid na Daan” campaign.

Can the President walk the talk when something rotten surfaces and it involves any of his friends? Or is the road straight only when it does not involve the KKK Club?

Let’s see what happens!

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(The author can be contacted through [email protected].)

TAGS: investigation, Jesse Robredo, plane crash

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