Rama wants Ace as DILG chief-A A +A
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
AS the search for a new Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary gets underway, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama suggested that Joseph “Ace” Durano of Cebu’s fifth district be counted among the candidates.
“Ace is a member of the Liberal Party (LP) now, so why not?” Rama said of the former congressman and Cabinet member. Durano served as tourism secretary during the Arroyo administration.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) will rename an annual award for its best civilian volunteer after the late interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo.
And a good government and anti-corruption advocate said Robredo not only possessed the qualities of an ideal elected official, but was ready to work with the church for clean elections in 2013.
Robredo will be cremated today in Naga City, where he served six terms as mayor. He died in a plane crash off Masbate last Aug. 18, while heading home after official engagements in Cebu.
Among the names being floated as possible replacements for Robredo are those of Cavite Rep. Joseph Abaya, former Isabela governor Grace Padaca, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Other reports also mentioned Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, as potential replacements.
In a news conference yesterday, Mayor Rama said that Durano served well when he was tourism chief from 2005 to 2010. He also has a track record in local government, having served as congressman of the fifth district of Cebu from 1998 to 2004.
Durano is also a lawyer.
“He is really capable,” said Rama.
He called up President Benigno Aquino III’s close-in aide, Atty. Jun Delantar, yesterday to suggest the inclusion of Durano’s name in a list of candidates for DILG secretary.
Whoever is chosen will, based on the outpouring of praise for Robredo, have large shoes to fill.
In a statement, Fr. Carmelo Diola of Dilaab said that Robredo passed the “laser” test, which is a list of questions voters should ask themselves when considering a
candidate. Laser is an acronym for lifestyle, action, supporters, election conduct and reputation.
The test was launched in 2007 as part of the voter education campaign of Dilaab Foundation Inc., a church-based anti-graft and corruption group.
The questions were emailed in 2007 to Robredo when he was still Naga City mayor.
Diola, Dilaab coordinating steward, shared the former's answer to this question: “How did or will you try to remain a person of integrity once you were or are elected into office?”
“Avoid spending personal money in helping your constituency,” Robredo had replied.
He said that legitimate needs of constituents, like medical assistance, emergency transportation, and burial expenses, among others, should be paid for by the government.
“Never spend what you cannot earn legally. This unburdens you (from) the pressure to get the funds from some other sources.... Leaders should not only be honest but should be perceived to be honest as well,” said Robredo.
Diola recalled that Robredo, as DILG secretary, worked with Catholic church leaders including the Ugnayan ng mga Barangay at Simbahan (Ubas) with Novaliches Bishop Tony Tobias, Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.
In Cebu, Robredo had signed a covenant with Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, who represented Archbishop Jose Palma, and barangay officials as part of preparations for the 2013 elections.
“Walang madumi na politika. Ang madumi ay ang politiko' and ‘May korap kasi hinahayaan natin’ were strongly applauded by the more than 1,000 lay leaders and government
officials who had come,” Diola said, recalling excerpts from the secretary’s talk.
“Jesse made his commitment to join another covenant signing, this time in Mindanao, between the Diocese of Kidapawan and the provincial government. Other prospects were in the horizon. Then a plane crash dashed these dreams and the expanding network to pieces,” he added.
In Robredo’s memory, the CIDG 7 staged a memorial caravan yesterday. They started at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City and ended with a Mass in the Mabolo Parish Church yesterday morning.
Among the participants were the CIDG 7 Community Investigative Support System (CIS). A few hours before the crash, Robredo was in Cebu to address a CIS summit at the CICC.
Motorcade participants tied yellow balloons to their vehicles. Nelvin Ricohermoso, deputy chief of CIDG 7, said it was a simultaneous event held nationwide by the CIDG.
In a GMA 7 report, Edgar Capuyan, a CIS member, said their relief at the success of the CIS Summit last Aug. 18 was marred by their sadness over Robredo’s death.
Ricohermoso added that instead of giving an award to the most outstanding CIS every year, the CIDG decided to change the award and make it the “Jessie Robredo Service Award”.
Supervision over the police was among Robredo’s many responsibilities as interior and local government secretary.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2012.