Leni Robredo thanks Naga officials for continuing legacy of Jesse
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vice President Leni Robredo thanked the Naga City officials for continuing – and even going beyond – the legacy of leadership left behind by her late husband and longtime mayor Jesse Robredo.
This was the Vice President’s message on Sunday, August 18, exactly 7 years since the Piper Seneca plane carrying Jesse plunged into the waters off Masbate. Jesse was then the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief under the Aquino administration.
In an ambush interview with reporters in Naga, Robredo first thanked Jesse’s supporters who continue to visit the city on his death anniversary. She then expressed gratitude towards the city officials who became like family to Jesse when he was still Naga's local chief executive. (READ: The 'ordinariness' of Jesse Robredo)
“Kapag tinitingnan ko ngayon iyong mga sumunod sa kaniya dito sa City Government of Naga, sobrang natutuwa ako na parang nangyari iyong ginusto ng asawa ko: na iyong mga nakapalibot sa kaniya dati, lalo pang humusay,” Robredo said.
(Whenever I look at the people who came after him in the City Government of Naga, I am very happy because what my husband wanted was fulfilled: that the people surrounding him then will become even more excellent.)
“Mas mahusay pa sa kaniya, kaya lalong napalawig iyong kaniyang legacy, iyong mga aral na naibigay niya sa governance, sa leadership. At patuloy na umaasa, kasi talagang, parang naka-plant na ng seed na iyong paniniwala kung ano iyong dapat na matino at mahusay na pamamahala,” added the Vice President.
(Because they have become even better than him, my husband’s legacy and his lessons on governance and leadership have become greater in scope. I continue to hope because the seeds have been planted to show how sincere and excellent governance should look like.)
Jesse Robredo was known for his "tsinelas leadership", which represented oneness with the people, when he served as Naga City mayor and even when he became DILG secretary of ex-president Benigno Aquino III. It was his death that led his wife Leni to join politics, first becoming Camarines Sur congresswoman then becoming Vice President in 2016.
'Peace of mind'
The Vice President also paid tribute to him in a 5-minute video on her Facebook page where she said Jesse giving her peace of mind is his "greatest gift" to her.
"Noong buhay kasi si Jess, siya iyong sentro ng buhay namin... Siya naman, binabawi niya naman ito sa... pag-shower sa amin ng pagmamahal. Kapag nasa bahay siya, tutok na tutok ako sa kanya. Nako-compensate iyon sa pagiging supportive niya sa ginagawa ko, sa pagbibigay sa akin ng peace of mind," she said.
(When Jesse was alive, he was the center of our lives. He returns the favor by showering us with love. When he's at home, I'm focused on him. He compensated by being supportive at what I do, by giving me peace of mind.)
"So iyong peace of mind na binigay niya sa akin, tingin ko iyon iyong greatest gift eh. Kasi dahil kampante ako, nagawa ko iyong mga gusto kong gawin for myself."
(The peace of mind he gave me, I think that is his greatest gift. Because I'm confident, I'm able to do what I want for myself.)
Robredo also hopes that Jesse's spirit and legacy will continue to guide her in fulfilling her mission.
"Kahit na buhay pa iyong asawa ko, iyong pagtulong ko sa kanya, iyong mga assignments na binigay niya sa akin, parang lahat preparation. Tingin ko, kaya ko nawi-withstand iyong ganito, kasi alam ko iyong misyon ko, tapusin iyong mga iniwan niya eh. Kaya para sa akin, mas misyon siya, hindi siya ambisyon."
(Even when he was alive, my assistance to him, the assignments he gave me, all of these seem to be a preparation. I think the reason I can withstand all these because I know my mission, to finish what he has left behind,. For me, it's a mission, not an ambition.)
Praises for Jesse
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima also hailed Jesse Robredo, whom she said did not resort to politicking nor violence to improve Naga.
"Nang magsimula si Jesse na maglingkod bilang mayor ng Naga, hinarap niya ang matitinding problema ng kahirapan, laganap na krimen, mabigat na trapiko, kakulangan ng pondo ng gobyerno, hindi sapat na trabaho at pabahay. Nasolusyunan niya ang mga ito, sa tulong na rin ng mga ibang kapwa lider at mga mamamayan,” said De Lima, who remains in prison for multiple drug charges. The senator has denied the allegations.
(When Jesse started serving as mayor of Naga, he faced the difficult problems of poverty, widespread crime, heavy traffic, lack of govenrment funds, and lack of jobs and housing. He was able to solve these with help from other leaders and the citizens themselves.)
“Nagawa niya ito nang hindi namumulitika, hindi gumagamit ng dahas, at walang niyuyurakang karapatan ng ating mga kababayan,” added De Lima.
(He was able to achieve these without resorting to politicking, violence, nor stepping on the rights of the people.)
Last week, the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation launched an award that will recognize mayors who have embodied Jesse Robredo’s “matino, mahusay, at may puso (good, excellent, and sincere)” brand of leadership. – Rappler.com