By: Tara Yap
THE LATE Secretary Jesse Robredo was a real family man.
This was how Iloilo Board Member Jett Rojas described the secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and award-winning mayor of Naga City.
“He didn’t want to miss a meal with his family,” Rojas said during the eulogy for Robredo at the Capitol lobby last August 23.
Rojas also said that Robredo would make it a point to go home to Naga City even
when his speaking engagements ended late at night.
Rojas recalled that when Robredo’s daughter was a competitor in a swimming competition held at the Iloilo Sports Complex, Robredo and his wife flew in to watch their daughter.
Rojas also described Robredo as a very simple man. Robredo stayed at the Jaro Bellevue Pension, just above the Biscocho Haus building in Jaro district.
Rojas said his friendship with Robredo stretched for more than 12 years.
Rojas and now Provincial Administrator Raul Banias met Robredo when he was still Ajuy town mayor and Banias was still Concepcion town mayor.
He and Banias joined Robredo in a 2000 study trip to New York City sponsored by Ford Foundation.
Rojas noted that Robredo literally saved him from embarrassment when he was asked to give an assessment on the state of education in his political jurisdiction. A neophyte mayor, Rojas said he did not know how to explain the state of education in Ajuy and it was Robredo who explained while citing the educational system in Naga City.
Rojas said that Robredo’s death opened the eyes of those in government service to serve the people with sincerity.
Meanwhile, the mass for Robredo was attended by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., DILG-6 regional director Evelyn Trompeta, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) chief Agrimero Cruz Jr., Iloilo Police Provincial Office chief Gil Lebin, Alimodian Mayor Juanito Alipao, Iloilo Board Member Gerry Flores, Rojas, Capitol employees, and other personnel of DILG line agencies.