LGU execs mourn Robredo's demise-A A +A
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
LOCAL government officials in Central Mindanao grieved the untimely demise of Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), saying his death is "heroic and admirable."
Robredo's body was recovered from the Piper Senica plane Tuesday morning after it crashed off the coast of Masbate Saturday.
Robredo has visited in many occasions North Cotabato -- one of the provinces in Central Mindanao beset with peace and order concerns.
He has flown in a day after the city jail was attacked on February 19 by some 30 fully-armed men out to rescue a high-risk criminal identified as Datukan Samad, a former Moro rebel commander.
The bloody attack killed three persons, including a rescue volunteer, and wounded 18 others.
Robredo's latest trip to the province was on August 13 where he met with local government officials from conflict areas in Central Mindanao to discuss security threats.
His visit came a week after the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels attacked government installations and military outposts in nearby Maguindanao province.
Cotabato Governor Lala Taliño-Mendoza was grateful having worked with a public official like Robredo whose main goal is to reach out to LGUs, even in far-flung areas.
Basilio Obello Jr., political officer of Cotabato Representative Nancy Catamco, said the late secretary has also visited several areas in the hinterlands to conduct ocular inspection of government projects, including farm-to-market roads, water system, electrification, and school buildings.
Catamco, who considered Robredo a close friend and ally, said the nation lost a great person who is the epitome of a good leader and a champ for the underdog.
Catamco said that among the "underdogs" the secretary has "defended and protected" are the lumads or the indigenous peoples in North Cotabato. Robredo institutionalized the mandatory tribal representation in the LGU's legislative council.
The province was among the first to comply with the DILG memorandum circular that Robredo issued in late 2010.
"He is a very selfless person. He gave hope to the lumads by executing an order to all LGUs to comply with the mandatory IP representation in all legislative council," Catamco said.
Bernardo Pinol, Jr., former Cotabato 2nd district congressman now consultant to the Department of Agriculture, said that Robredo's death, "albeit tragic and regretful, is very heroic and admirable."
"He passed away in the line of duty and for a public official that indeed is a noble way to exit this life here on earth. Death is an inevitable foe, and if it were up to me, I would like to die the same way," Pinol said.
In North Cotabato, Bishop Romulo dela Cruz and diocesan priests in different parishes will celebrate masses with prayers for the repose of the soul of Secretary Robredo.
Robredo was also remembered as an official from the Malacañang who gave orders to all law enforcement agencies to incarcerate the killers of Italian missionary Fausto Tentorio of the Pontificial Institute of Foreign Mission.
Tentorio was killed in October 17 last year.
The secretary visited Arakan, a hinterland town in North Cotabato, which is about an hour travel north-east of Kidapawan City, to attend the wake of Father Tentorio.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 22, 2012.