I do not know him personally. I never met him. I don’t live in Naga either. However, Secretary Jesse Robredo impressed me a lot when reading about his works on the dailies. He seemed like a humble man, easy to approach, and dedicated to his job be it Mayor of Naga back then or DILG Secretary. He did his work silently, without pomp and pageantry, but he achieved most if not all of his projects which benefited all of us.
I was on Twitter when reports of the plane crash started to pick up. The news stopped me and made me pray a silent prayer that he is safe. After 24 hours with no positive news of the accident’s status, I began to accept that he is dead although I still prayed for him every night. I began wishing that the accident should have happened to one of our corrupt politicians or the imbecile senator who keeps on blocking the passage of the RH Bill. They were evil thoughts but I still entertained them because I didn’t want the country to lose an outstanding public servant.
Today it was confirmed that the body of Secretary Robredo was in the wreckage. He is dead. It shouldn’t have come as a shock to me but in the back of my mind I was still hoping that a miracle happened. Now all hope is lost and I wasn’t able to stop my tears from pouring. Maybe my current depressive state has something to do with how the situation affected me because I was truly mourning. I mourned for our country because among the buwayas he was the one shining star – untainted and steadfast despite the difficulties he encountered with the current administration. It makes me think that maybe the Filipinos do not deserve someone so honest, so simple. Or maybe we did deserve him but why was he taken from us so soon? Heck, I even wish that I’d die if it would mean that he can stay alive. I don’t have much achievements I can show off. I do my bit as a citizen but he can help the Filipinos more.
With his loss, all we can do is continue his dreams for the country.
For public servants, especially the EPAL ones, observe how much the country loves the late Secretary. Be humble, serve the people sincerely, don’t steal our money and get rid of the tarps with your huge face splashed in it. Robredo didn’t need those EPAL tarps but people knew he was doing his job. He was approachable and even did menial tasks like garbage collection and sweeping the city streets. Don’t be afraid of the dirt.
For us citizens, Sec. Robredo taught Naga to take pride in the city and to pitch in. He taught them that Government alone couldn’t solve the city’s problems and that the local government needs to work hand-in-hand with them if they want Naga to become first class. We should follow Naga’s example and help our government. Let us pay our taxes and dues, clean our surroundings, and not just sit in the proverbial backseat and bitch about the driver (government). If our local politicians are corrupt, we shouldn’t vote for them again come the next election. The government couldn’t improve the Philippines alone, we need to pitch in.
These are lessons I learned from the late Secretary as I continue to mourn for my loss, for our country’s loss. You should be mourning too.
Editor’s note: Originally published on Karen’s blog.