Press Release
August 22, 2012

Senate adopts resolution expressing sympathy
to the death of DILG Secretary Robredo

The Senate today unanimously adopted Senate Resolution No. 120, expressing the deep sympathy of the Senate on the demise of Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, who passed away on August 18, 2012, after the plane bearing him and three others crashed off Masbate while en route from Cebu to Naga.

Senate Resolution No. 120 consolidates Senate Resolutions 841, 842, 843, 844, 848, and 850, introduced by Senators Frank Drilon, Tito Sotto, Kiko Pangilinan, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, respectively.

The Senate adjourned session after the passage of the resolution, in deference to the fallen DILG Secretary. "Today, we in the Senate remember the legacy of an extraordinary civil servant whose life was taken from us one day too soon. While we lament his untimely passing, we nevertheless celebrate the heritage of his invaluable leadership that first dawned in the City of Naga - a city he nurtured for 18 years - and radiated brightly in the President's cabinet as he shouldered the crucial post of Secretary of the Interior and Local Government," said Drilon, who led the Senate in sponsoring Senate Resolution No. 120.

"Without a doubt, Secretary Robredo would have achieved more if he was not taken from us last week. This local executive-turned quintessential public servant would have left an imprint in Philippine politics that a few in his generation would have accomplished," Drilon added. Drilon is a former president and current vice-chairman of the Liberal Party, of which Robredo belonged to before he died.

Enrile, in expressing his sadness over the loss of the DILG Secretary, also said that "Secretary Robredo was a close friend of mine, and I deeply mourn his passing. He could have been a great leader of this nation, a promising one. He is truly a great loss not just to his family but to the entire country."

"On behalf of the Senate, I join the rest of the nation in grieving over the passing of a well-loved public servant and urge the national government to extend full state honors for him in grateful recognition of his services to the country," Enrile added. According to the resolution, the nation and the people had lost a dedicated public servant who had raised the bar of public service and a role model whose integrity and ethics in public service should be emulated by all.

"Robredo epitomized genuine commitment to reform and dedication to duty both as DILG Secretary and as Mayor of Naga City for 18 years. He will be greatly missed, Enrile further said.

According to the resolution, "Secretary Robredo displayed his exemplary performance as a public servant when he was elected as local chief executive in Naga City, making him the youngest Philippine city mayor at the age of 29. He was able to serve Naga City for an unprecedented eighteen years as local chief executive."

Prior to his service in the national government, Robredo was hailed from deviating from traditional politics and giving the people the right to participate in governance. In 1999 he was in fact cited by Asiaweek Magazine as having transformed Naga from a "lethargic city into one of Asia's most improved."

"A multi-awarded local chief executive and a leading advocate of good governance and ethical leadership, Secretary Robredo was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III to lead the DILG on July 9, 2010. Thereafter, Robredo promptly introduced what he had described as "pioneering efforts to uphold the tenets of transparency, accountability and responsiveness "in local government units," the resolution said.

"Secretary Robredo instituted and implemented a policy of full public disclosure of the budget, finances and expenditures of local government units (LGUs) and agencies attached to the DILG, recognition of high-performing LGUs, and the institutionalization of partnerships with civil society organizations," the resolution added.

Robredo received several awards in public service, including the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the 1996 Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) Award, the Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM Award, 1998 Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence as Most Outstanding City Mayor of the Philippines and the first ever "Dangal ng Bayan" Award of the Civil Service Commission. He was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree by the Far Eastern University in Manila in March of 2008. (YVONNE ALMIRAÑEZ, PRIB)

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