These are times when you are tempted to question God’s motives for removing from the Aquino Administration the one good man who is deemed most committed to effect reforms and honesty in governance.
Then it dawned on me that God must have precisely wanted to end Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo’s life in a blaze of glory in the watery depths of Masbate in order to make Filipinos realize the kind of people we are inside; and the kind of people we can become. Most of all, we have been given the chance to see the kind of people we DESERVE to have in Government!
The Supreme Being, in His wondrous ways, may have wanted to show us that there are still people like Secretary Robredo who can remain long in office and not enrich himself and his family; that government officials are servants who ride bicycles to inspect projects, public buses to go home; and humble enough to personally sweep the streets. We are reminded once again that government officials can act like they are the lowest among us and be true public servants; and that people can occupy high posts in government without letting power get into their heads or affect their love and loyalty to their spouses and their families.
We would not have known all these and admired Sec. Robredo for these traits had Sec. Robredo simply left government out of frustration for failure to initiate reforms or due to political infightings. The whole country would not have known the sterling qualities of this rare gem of a public servant had he died in his sleep or in old age.
I myself, not having gotten the honor of meeting Sec. Robredo, only knew him for his good works for Naga City; which won him the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2000. It is only after his tragic end did I get to know him and was blown away by his humility; and his being truly a man for the little people, much like the late President Ramon Magsaysay or Zamboanga’s Mayor Cesar C. Climaco.
It is for this reason that his family is at peace with his kind of death and is not blaming anyone for it. In his lifetime, Secretary Robredo had accomplished thrice more than his contemporaries in local government or in the Cabinet. Some of those people he left behind in the government may live for a hundred years but will never gain the respect, love and admiration now showered on Sec. Robredo. Dying a violent death is just an icing in the cake. A bonus.
It is perfect ending for a perfect brand of public service!
In his tragic and dramatic death, Sec. Robredo had thus thrown us the challenge to raise the bar of public service. To give justice to Sec. Robredo’s death, we are called upon to look for his kind of traits and brand of public service in all politicians who are running for office in the 2013 elections. Having seen that we CAN still have officials like Sec. Jesse serving us, why should we settle for the dishonest, the corrupt, the lazy, the braggart, the abusive; the unqualified; and the popular but stupid?
Ano tayo, cheap (Are we cheap)? Sec. Jesse has already shown us how true public service should be like, why should we settle for less?
Thus, as we mull on the untimely death of Sec. Jesse, let us not be content in merely talking about how good he was and how saddening for us to have lost a public servant like him, we must all rise up to the occasion and wake up the Jesse Robredos in each of us! Like Jesse, we can all be true heroes and martyrs without running for office or riding on Piper Seneca planes that plunge to the Masbate seas at sundown.
Let us use this inherent Jesse Robredo potential to be heroes to help our fellow man regardless how lofty or lowly our circumstance is in life. More importantly, let us wake up from slumber the Jesse Robredos within us and convert this into a VOTE POWER to ensure that politicians who don’t possess the life-giving qualities of Sec. Robredo will never enter the hallowed halls of the Senate, Congress; and the city, provincial and municipal halls in this country!
Sec. Jesse Robredo already died giving us a glimpse of the kind of public service we are being denied for so a long time now. Inspired by this great public servant and hero, let us continue the fight for good and reformist public service!
Let us elect Jesse Robredos in the May 2013 elections. That is the only way for us to show that Sec. Jesse had not died in vain.
(This is an edited and revised version of the one I posted in my other blog at Dean & Kings PR yesterday. Apologies for some of the errors of the earlier version which I have done in a hurry during a break in an important meeting.)