[PHOTO - The bronze coffin covered by the Philippine flag, containing the remains of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, arrives at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. From the military airbase, the remains were brought to the Malacañan Palace. Robredo will be flown back to Naga City on Sunday morning. The state funeral, meanwhile, has been scheduled for Tuesday in Naga City.]

MANILA, AUGUST 25, 2012 (PHILSTAR) Robredo's remains lie in state in Malacañan By Dennis Carcamo The Philippine Star Updated August 24, 2012 12:52 PM 4 comments to this post

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo's body is now lying in state at the Malacañan Palace. The bronze coffin containing Robredo's remains will stay inside the palace's Kalayaan Hall until Sunday morning.

From the Archbishops Palace in Naga City, Robredo's coffin was carried by six honorary pall bearers, who were chosen by the family, to a waiting carriage and was brought to the Naga airport.

The plane carrying Robredo's casket arrived around 11 a.m. in Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, where he was given arrival honors by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Another set of six pall bearers -- Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas, Cavite Rep. Jun Abaya, Harvey Keh of Kaya Natin Movement, Alice Murphy representing the urban poor , and Joan dela Cruz representing the Department of Interior and Local Government -- carried the casket upon arrival at the Villamor Airbase.

En route to Malacañan Palace, people lined up the streets to witness the convoy while the members of the Bureau of Fire Protection gave a "water salute" to pay their last respects to Robredo.

When the body arrived at Malacañan at around 11 a.m., President Benigno Aquino III welcomed the Robredo family and led the 19-gun salute for the late secretary while yellow confetti from helicopters rained over the Palace grounds.

Based on the bulletin issued by Malacañan, there will be a memorial service around 1 p.m. sponsored by the Department of Interior and Local Government, its attached agencies and local government leagues.

Around 3:15 p.m., another memorial service will be held, sponsored by urban poor groups. It would be followed by memorial service sponsored by Kayan Natin Movement, a group advocating good governance co-founded by Robredo.

A Holy Mass will also be held around 6 p.m. and after which people will be allowed to pay respects to Robredo up to 11 p.m.

A public viewing for Robredo's remains was also scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. It will be followed by another Mass from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and memorial services from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. sponsored by the Liberal Party and the late secretary's fellow Cabinet members.

Robredo will be flown back to Naga City on Sunday with the late secretary's body transferred from the Kalayaan Hall of the palace to the Naga City Hall.

The late secretary served as mayor of Naga City for six terms from 1988 to 2010.

From the Naga City Hall, his remains will be transferred to the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia on Monday morning.

The Malacañan-organized state funeral for Robredo will start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

For Robredo, daughters' midterms worth more than CA nod By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) Updated August 24, 2012 12:00 AMComments (12)

[PHOTO -Patricia and Jillian Therese Robredo, daughters of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, sit beside their father’s coffin outside the archbishop’s palace in Naga City. Jonjon Vicencio]

MANILA, Philippines - For Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, his daughters’ midterm examinations were worth praying for, rather than his long overdue confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

Lawyer Ma. Eleonor “Leni” Robredo faced the media yesterday for the first time since the plane carrying her husband, his aide Senior Inspector June Paulo Abrazado, and pilot Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand crashed last Aug. 18.

Robredo’s remains were recovered Tuesday morning. Abrazado survived while the two pilots also died and their bodies were recovered days later.

Mrs. Robredo shared her conversation with her husband last week over his CA confirmation, which was scheduled on Aug. 29.

She told Jesse that she would hold a nine-day novena to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, starting last Aug. 15, which would be completed on Aug. 29, the day the CA would decide on his confirmation.

The couple and their children are devotees of the Virgin of Peñafrancia, the patron saint of Bicol.

Leni said her husband replied to her in a text message, “You just pray for the midterms of our children, they are set to take midterm examinations.”

He said it would be fine even if he is not confirmed by the CA.

She added what was more important for her husband was that he had done his duty efficiently to ensure improvements in the agency.

Leni also hopes that Jesse’s successor will continue the policies he put in place and maintain the changes that he started in the department.

This, she said, will keep her husband’s memory alive. “Even the seeds that he sowed among local government units will hopefully flourish so that all the hard work that my husband has invested won’t be wasted,” Leni stressed.

A true family man

This was how some senators described the late Secretary Robredo, who shrugged off his wife’s offer to hold a novena to pray for his confirmation at the CA as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“That’s the kind of man who truly knows what matters most in life, family. As far as I am concerned, I gave him my full support and was going to deliver a speech during the hearing. He is a good man,” Sen. Loren Legarda said.

Liberal Party colleague Sen. Franklin Drilon agreed and added that he respects the decision of the family to bury him in his home province.

“This does not make Sec. Robredo any less (deserving of) the honor that is being (bestowed on) him,” Drilon said.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, chairman of the CA subcommittee on local government, also noted that Robredo’s confirmation was “already in the bag.”

“I told him. It was a matter of time,” Sotto said.

The senators were reacting to Mrs. Robredo’s statement that the late secretary’s confirmation was not that important to him.

According to Leni, the confirmation is only a “formality” in exchange for the hard work that her husband put into his job.

She also refused to comment on the plans to give the DILG chief a posthumous confirmation in recognition of his accomplishments in the government service. – With Christina Mendez, Celso Amo

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved