[PHOTO -Relatives, Naga City officials and friends including Sen. Joker Arroyo welcome the remains of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to the Naga City Hall yesterday]

MANILA, AUGUST 27, 2012 (INQUIRER) President Aquino will attend the funeral of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo in Naga City on Tuesday, Malacañang confirmed yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda and other Cabinet members will fly today to lead preparations for the cremation and burial of the interior chief’s remains.

Aquino also led the government in honoring and sending off yesterday the remains of Robredo to Naga, the Cabinet member’s home and “happy place.”

Robredo’s last day in Manila started with a Mass at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacañang at 5:30 a.m., officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle.

In his homily, Tagle said Robredo had demonstrated commitment, faith and love when he was alive.

Tagle said Robredo managed to remain a devout Catholic while performing his tasks as a public servant and even confessed three times a month.

Robredo’s death showed that the country longed for a good leader, Tagle added.

President Aquino was not present during the Mass, which ended at 6:30 a.m.

Robredo’s family and the Cabinet members were given the opportunity to take breakfast before the start of the send-off ceremonies.

Aquino arrived in Kalayaan Hall in Malacañang at about 7 a.m. to lead the departure honors.

About 150 members of the Presidential Security Group honor guards rendered a 19-gun salute in honor of Robredo.

The 19-gun salute is an honor given to Cabinet members.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Cavite Rep. Joseph Abaya, Kaya Natin Movement lead convenor Harvey Keh, urban poor group leader Alice Murphy and Joan de la Cruz of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reprised their roles as honorary pallbearers during the ceremony.

The hearse bearing the remains of Robredo left Malacañang grounds at about 7:25 a.m. for Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

About 20 fire trucks of the Bureau of Fire Protection rendered a “water salute” to Robredo as the convoy passed through Osmeña highway.

Policemen, street sweepers and private citizens also saluted the late Cabinet member.

Robredo’s remains arrived at Villamor Airbase in Pasay shortly before 8 a.m.

The military rendered departure honors before the remains were flown to Naga Airport via a cargo plane.

Robredo’s body arrived in Naga at around 9 a.m. where it was honored by the Philippine National Police, local officials and private citizens.

Robredo’s remains are scheduled to be moved from Naga City Hall to the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia at 8 a.m. today for the funeral rites.

Congressional Medal of Achievement

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will lead the House of Representatives in conferring tomorrow a posthumous Congressional Medal of Achievement on Secretary Robredo, a leader of the chamber said yesterday.

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, chairman of the committee on rules, said the resolution will coincide with Robredo’s state funeral.

He said the adoption of House Resolution 2687 will show how the institution values the great contribution to good governance of Robredo who served as Naga City mayor for 18 years.

“As we said in our resolution, it seeks to honor political, economic, and cultural leaders who have distinguished themselves through their life work and their vision,” Gonzales said.

Belmonte and Gonzales were among the principal authors of the resolution. Other authors include Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, and Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya Jr.

Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona said the resolution will remind Filipinos of Robredo’s immeasurable contributions in the promotion of good governance in the country.

The resolution cited Robredo’s accomplishments as mayor of Naga City where he earned the Ramon Magsaysay award, the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, and later was appointed as DILG secretary by President Aquino.

“Robredo is regarded as a pillar of good governance, introducing participatory democracy, enabling breakthrough improvements in local governance,” the resolution stated.

Finally, the ‘confirmation’

Meanwhile, the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) will “confirm” Robredo during the originally set confirmation hearing on Wednesday this week, in apparent recognition of the efforts of the late secretary.

Sen. Edgardo Angara said a number of senators and congressmen who are members of the CA have decided to give Robredo his confirmation, which was elusive since his appointment as secretary of his department in 2010.

President Aquino first appointed Robredo in officer-in-charge for one year following some objection over his appointment. It was only in mid-2011 that Malacañang sent his appointment papers to the CA.

Angara said the confirmation will be a form of “recognition” of his service in government.

The move was not meant to appease anybody, Angara said, explaining that the recognition should be seen as an affirmation of the honor vested on him.

Robredo’s wife earlier said in an interview that her late husband was more concerned about his daughters passing their exams than getting his confirmation.

Leni Robredo recalled having learned this from Robredo when she told him that she was offering a novena for his CA nod, but the late secretary said he would rather that his wife pray for their children to pass their exams. – With Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero, Christina Mendez, Charlie Lagasca, Celso Amo, Cet Dematera


P-Noy: Robredo, a hero The Philippine Star Updated August 27, 2012 11:29 AM 10 comments to this post

MANILA, Philippines - In the eyes of President Benigno Aquino III, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo died a hero.

"Bukas ay ihahatid natin sa kanyang huling hantungan ang isang tapat at mabuting pinuno na si Kalihim Jesse Robredo," Aquino said in his speech at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in celebration of the National Heroes Day on Monday, August 27.

"Bayani siyang pinili ang simpleng pamumuhay; tinutukan ang kapakanan ng kapwa bago ang sarili, at nangibabaw ang kanyang prinsipyo laban sa transaksyonalismo," the President added.

Robredo will be brought to his last resting place in Naga City on Tuesday afternoon.

The late secretary's exemplary public service earned him international recognition. Majority of the awards given to Robredo were given to him while he was serving as mayor of Naga City.

He served as mayor of Naga City for 19 years from 1988 to 1998 and 2001 to 2010. Aquino appointed him as sectary of the Department of Interior and Local Government in 2010.

Robredo died after his plane crashed in waters off Masbate City last August 18. The plane's two pilots also died while Robredo's aide escaped the accident alive.

The secretary was returning to Naga City when the accident happened.

His body was recovered three days (August 21) after the crash, 800 meters from the shore of Masbate City and 180 feet below sea level.

As soon as the secretary's death was confirmed, social networking sites and news sites were flooded with praises for Robredo.

From Masbate City, his remains were flown to his waiting family in Naga City. On Friday, the body was brought to Malacañang.

The secretary's body was returned to Naga City on Sunday morning and brought straight to the city hall. From the city hall, the body was then brought to the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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