Ninoy, Jesse and death-A A +A
Saturday, September 1, 2012
DILG Secretary and former Naga City mayor Jesse Manalastas Robredo deserved the state funeral and the Philippine Legion award bestowed on him by Malacanang, the tears his colleagues had shed, the flags at half-mast and the tributes of the many in this time of loss over whom the Malacañang calls as "a great servant."
It is not just because it is the most proper thing to do in these times of sadness and gloom. It is not just because the one who died was a representative of the President.
It is because on August 21, a man with similar dedication, vision and achievements as with the man who died on the tarmac 29 years ago was found underneath the cold, blue waters of the nation he served.
Robredo was not one of those whom we call as the traditional politician. Unlike traditional politicians who love to see their names on tarpaulins, Robredo would rather visit a place without any form of announcement to save money that he recognized he does not own.
Unlike traditional politicians who love to pose, he walks out with his slippers, jeans and t-shirt to know the concerns of the majority back when he was still a mayor.
Unlike traditional politicians who sit on a chair and will only move a year or two or when elections are at dawn, he raised Naga from being a third-class city of rampant gambling and red-star entertainment centers to a first-class disciplined city.
These were testimonials of his co-workers and kababayans.
This change in Naga seems similar to what Ninoy achieved during the time when Aquino was the mayor of Tarlac.
Back then, Tarlac was known for being the nesting ground of the Huks. When Aquino reached out to them and made agreements, peace was at last in Tarlac. He also opens his doors for those who need his help.
But aside from public service, both politicians shared something similar when it comes to education. Robredo became a graduate of Harvard University while Ninoy was a teacher of Philosophy there during his stay in the United States.
Both politicians were also the youngest ones for the position as mayor during their own respective times. Both were from the Liberal Party.
When Ninoy garnered the applause of every one for his stand against dictatorship, it also points to the similarity of admiration Robredo achieved when he won the Ramon Magsaysay award back in 2000. This award is considered the Nobel Prize in Asia.
And both met their sister death in a tragic way. Ninoy died due to gunshots. Robredo died on a plane crash like President Ramon Magsaysay. Ninoy and Jesse both made the nation regret about losing politicians or servants who deserve the posts they left.
May this be a good day to remember Jesse, to revere Ninoy and, for those in position, to learn from them. So that in death, their absence will be noticed and their existence be appreciated. (Ma. Kristina Camelia B. Nardo)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 02, 2012.