Press Release
March 21, 2013

Drilon to candidates: Emulate 'Robredo'

"Emulate Robredo, and put service to the people and country above personal interests."

At a campaign sortie of Team PNoy in Naga, where the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo had served faithfully as mayor for 19 years, setting aside personal gains and partisan politics, Team PNoy campaign manager Sen. Franklin M. Drilon on Thursday/March 21 challenged all candidates in the May 2013 elections to follow the beloved secretary's selfless brand of pro-poor public service.

"I challenge our senatorial candidates, whether from Team PNoy or the other parties, to embody the brand of public service that defined Sec. Jesse Robredo's leadership. It is the ideal to which all must aspire," Drilon said.

"Robredo was one of the finest examples of Liberal Party politicians and public servants who embodied anti-elitist politics, by categorically shunning trappings of power. He instead chose to wear tsinelas, remained simple while in power, and epitomized grassroots empowerment through genuine servant leadership," Drilon said.

"I know the President also took into consideration the qualities of Robredo in choosing the senatorial candidates of Team PNoy," Drilon said.

The LP-led administration coalition candidates barnstormed the two Camarines provinces, wading into enthusiastic crowds in Daet and Naga, where they gathered on Friday to extol the public virtues of the man who was lost in August last year in a plane crash while en route from Cebu to Naga to keep a commitment with his daughter.

"I also appeal to the public to look for the characteristics of Robredo in the leaders whom they will elect to local and national posts. When we go out and vote, let us choose leaders known for their competence, humility, compassion, and uprightness of character -- qualities that Robredo embodied," Drilon said.

The country is looking for another Robredo in government to foster the reforms he initiated as mayor and later a Cabinet member, he added.

Robredo and two other persons perished on August 18, 2012 when their plane, which took off from Cebu, crashed into the sea off the coast of Masbate.

Team PNoy senatorial candidate and former Sen. Ramon "Jun" Magsaysay said he could see similarities in the death of Robredo and his father, the late President Ramon Magsaysay Sr. who died in a plane crash on Mount Manunggal in Cebu on March 17, 1957.

"Just like Robredo, who, after speaking at a forum in Cebu, insisted on returning home to watch his daughter in a swimming competition in Naga, my father insisted on leaving Cebu that fateful Saturday night so as not to break the family practice to hear mass and have breakfast together on Sunday morning," Magsaysay recalled.

"Robredo's love for his family and compassion for the poor were the same qualities I could remember of my father," Magsaysay said.

Magsaysay vowed to continue to pursue the advocacy of his father. "His slogan still holds true now. It's the embodiment of one's compassion for the common tao."

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