‘Perceptions’-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
JESSE Robredo is dead. His body was found in the bottom of the sea off the coast of Masbate.
A lot of tributes, praising his dedication, commitment and transparency in the name of good governance were expressed. Most of these praises are honest and sincere. A few probably are exaggerated.
Robredo was a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee. When one gets an award of this kind, it indeed recognizes such achievement done by the awardee for the general welfare of the public that one served.
Robredo was a simple man from my perception. From a distance, only from TV pictorials and photos in national and local dailies, Robredo wears a favorite white polo shirt and resides in a simple house with his family.
Yet while alive, the lamented secretary was bypassed by the powerful Commission of Appointments. And President Noynoy did not push hard enough for him to be confirmed and neither did he deny or his presidential spokespersons that there is no truth to such rumor, that Robredo would get booted out from the cabinet.
It’s amazing the stony silence of Robredo’s family, especially that the family is a well knit family, as the press reported. This is untypical of a Filipino family for we are a sentimental and emotional people. This is strange really. His youngest daughter did not breakdown. Robredo had to take that unsafe small plane to witness his daughter received a medal.
I looked for a sign that his family really suffered with the loss of a dearly beloved husband and a father, but I did not.
When I was active with the UNIDO (United Opposition) during the Marcos years, I’ve met some of the prominent national leaders of the opposition group.
Governor then Luis Villafuerte of Camarines Sur was definitely a flamboyant charming, very articulate and charismatic in many ways. On two occasions, I crossed swords with him on the strategy that we have to do so for Mr. Marcos cannot just put in jail any opposition leaders that easily. He disagreed with my suggestions.
Villafuerte is a powerful figure in the Bicol region, that’s why Robredo got bypassed several times.
Senator Joker Arroyo, Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes did not say anything favorable for Robredo when he was still alive during the confirmation proceedings. Why? Probably afraid to tangle with Villafuerte?
Robredo was booked with Cebu Pacific from Manila to Naga City. Yet he took a chance to ride in such untrustworthy four-seater plane. Did God decide to call him home already? Only God knows.
I was in Butuan City last week for the blessing of our Philfund Office in downtown Butuan City.
It was a very exhausting and tiresome trip. It took us eight hours to reach Butuan City, which normally only four hours before the repairs of the national highway from Balingasag to Butuan City.
Butuan City, since its departure from Region X, now sports a new look, progressive and tidy.
With cooperatives, rural and commercial banks giving Philfund a very stiff competition, our firm has stood resiliently for 28 long years. With God’s help, we will be able to survive.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 24, 2012.