The Robredo Legacy


The death of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo suddenly thrust to the fore the good deeds he has done in the name of public service. Indeed, it is sad that a good man like Secretary Robredo would leave this world early, with the reforms in local governance he set in motion barely having gained solid foothold.
But in death, it would seem that Secretary Robredo achieved what he had struggled to push forward in his lifetime. Even though he was denied confirmation as Cabinet Secretary, Jesse raised the nation’s awareness that a public official can do good while avoiding the temptations of corruption. He showed us a public official can live a simple life, without the trappings of power, and deliver on his oath of office.

Simplicity. Dedication to public service. Integrity. These are just a few traits that Secretary Robredo became known for. While alive, he found that these ideals did not really fall into a warm embrace under an administration that vowed a “matuwid na daan”. His reform agenda encountered stiff resistance.
Sad, because not even President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III was sold out to him and only reluctantly appointed him to the DILG portfolio. Robredo had to suffer in silence and humiliation when President Aquino carved the DILG portfolio and gave the law enforcement and public safety aspects to his shooting buddy, Undersecretary Rico Puno.
In grief, the Filipino nation can resolve to achieve what Secretary Robredo started out to do. The standards of a transparent and effective governance that he set during the 18 years that he served as City Mayor of Naga City should be carved in the nation’s conscience as the new measuring stick. We should put our elected officials accountable to that level of performance.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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