The day Naga found out Robredo died

The city that loved the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo -- and that he loved back -- mourns the loss of a leader who served them faithfully for 18 years

MANILA, Philippines – On the 29th death anniversary of his father, President Benigno Aquino III brings home a dead colleague and friend.

Earlier today, the body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was brought to the Masbate Airport and given military honors.
Robredo died in a plane crash off Masbate last Saturday.His body is recovered today. He was 54.
At noon, the plane carrying Robredo’s body left for Naga, where his family lives and where he served as mayor for nearly 2 decades.

The President supervised the search and rescue operations for Robredo and his two pilots since Sunday.
He left for Manila Monday night to commemorate the death anniversary of his father, the late Sen Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., who was shot on Aug. 21, 1983.
Natashya Gutierrez reports on Robredo’s last homecoming.

Tears … wails … grief.
The morning starts with devastating news.
Supporters weep when they hear Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo is dead … his body found 3 days after his plane crashed in Masbate.
Volunteers who kept vigil are in shock – their hopes he would come back alive shattered.
In seconds, an empty house fills with people.
The air is heavy… words few and far between…
ERWIN VILLACRUZ: Ang favorite memory ko kahit po mga personal na namin na problema, tinatanong kami king ano ang mga problema namin, sa opisina, sa aming mga trabaho.
At noon, Robredo’s wife, Leni and their three daughters ride a van to the Naga airport to claim his body flown from Masbate.
There, they meet President Benigno Aquino, who helps to bring Robredo’s body to the funeral parlor.
Aquino’s cabinet secretaries are in Naga, joined by other public officials, to pay their respects to a beloved peer.
Outside the house, yellow ribbons appear and hours before the wake, people are walking, wearing yellow – Robredo’s favorite color.
REMEDIOS PERILLO: Nawala na po siya. Maraming natutulungan yun e. Hindi siya patay…ang ala-ala niya hindi patay.
Hundreds are expected to attend the wake to say a final goodbye to the man who served Naga for 18 years.  
The outpouring of support and grief here is symbolic of the admiration accorded Robredo by those he served. While his passing saddens locals, they find comfort that his body was found and that he has made it back to Naga. To them, Robredo is home.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Naga City.

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