Prayers from the city Robredo led
NAGA CITY, Philippines – Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's townmates are waiting, hoping, and praying for good news.
About 200 people in Naga City, mostly Robredo's former colleagues, employees, relatives, and neighbors, flocked to a prayer vigil in front of the Robredo residence Saturday evening, August 18, after Robredo's plane crashed in Masbate.
They gathered around a statue of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the patroness of Bicol, praying for their former mayor's safety.
"Mabigat 'yung feeling. Ang laki ng parte niya hindi lang sa Naga kundi sa Pilipinas," said Glenda Dasco, a former member of Robredo's staff when he was Naga City mayor. (The feeling is heavy. He plays a big part not only in Naga but also in the Philippines.)
Dasco rushed to the Robredo residence after hearing the news that the plane carrying Robredo and 3 others crashed.
"While walking to Robredo's (house), we were crying. We are hoping na hindi totoo. Prayer ko until now is sana buhay pa siya, nasa pangpang siya. Sana buhay. Marami pa siyang puwedeng gawin sa Naga, Bicol, at Pilipinas," Dasco said, almost tearing up.
(While walking to Robredo's house, we were crying. We are hoping that it's not true. I pray that he's still alive, that he's just on the shore. I hope he's still alive. He can still do a lot of things for Naga, Bicol, and the Philippines.)
Meanwhile, 42-year-old Liza Ordas, who lives in a barangay near Robredo's house, said authorities should continue the search and rescue operations. The United States itself on Saturday extended help to rescue Robredo.
"Malungkot, kaya pumunta ako rito (sa bahay ni Secretary Robredo) para malaman ang balita. Best mayor siya ng Naga City. Sana hindi itigil ang rescue operations," she said.
(I'm sad, that's why I went to Secretary Robredo's house to know more about the news. He's the best mayor Naga City ever had. I hope the rescue operations will continue.)
Naga Vice Mayor Mayor Gabriel Bordado, a close friend and political ally of Robredo, said he was shocked when reporters began calling him to inquire about the plane crash.
Bordado said he sent Robredo a text message this afternoon because the inquiries pissed him off, thinking they were part of political propaganda.
“Sabi ko saiya priming mag-double-check ta dakol syang nakakabangga sa pulitika. Dai ko naisip na sa aksidente palan sya magkakaproblema,” he said. (I told him to always double-check since he has many rivals in the politics. I never thought that he would figure in an accident).
Bordado and Robredo have known each other for 25 years. Robredo was elected Naga City mayor in 1988.
The vice mayor confirmed the news with Robredo’s head executive assistant, lawyer Domnina Rances.
“We are hoping that everything will be okay. Hope springs eternal for the people of Naga. Let’s continue praying for Secretary Jesse and the two other guys. Sana dai mawara an satong paglaom (Let us not lose hope)," Bordado said.
On Sunday, August 19, Naga City Mayor John Bongat, some city councilors, and members of the press will go to Masbate where search and rescue operations continue. – Rappler.com
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