It is too late to honour the late Jesse Robredo now – because he’s dead

So now Secretary Jesse Robredo is dead. And lo, what do we see around us now but a multitude of armchair eulogies — many of them spread shallow across 140-character snippets of textual diarrhoea — waxing poetic on how good a man he was. That’s all good folks — if it weren’t for the fact that the man is dead. I don’t know what the bigger tragedy is, Robredo’s senseless death, or the even more evidently consistent failure of Filipinos to spot a pea-sized diamond on a pile of turd.

I didn’t really follow Secretary Jesse Robredo’s work. A wild personal guesstimate tells me neither was he a major artifact on any of my colleagues’ watch lists. Search our network of sites for any mentions and you will probably get just a small handful of hits in the search results you get. It means Robredo wasn’t in our radar — which is a good thing. More to the point, I cannot presume to be an expert on who Robredo the man was, what he achieved, or what he didn’t achieve. All immediate knowledge I have, I’ve already compiled in my previous article.

What I now know about Robredo includes anecdotes from a personal friend of mine who was a constituent of his when he was mayor of Naga City, was a contemporary and schoolmate of his wife (albeit a couple of batches lower), and ran around in the same local social circles. Much of what that friend of mine had to say about Robredo was in the context of what she knew about his wife — that they were all simple, decent, and well-liked (but respected) people. She also told me that Robredo spent much of his tour of duty as mayor battling a mob of politicians seeking to undermine his claim to the mayor’s office. Indeed, even then, he was a diamond sitting atop a pile of manure.

Closer to the point I try to make, it is easy to ignore a living quiet achiever. That is because the Philippines is a noisy shallow human cesspool — full of characters in the trade of brokering flawed arguments and irrelevant information. Everything is after-the-fact. Foresight is frowned upon. Achievement is seen as a target to take limp swings at. Granted, hindsight is often hailed as a fountainhead of useless wisdom, it seems the Philippine National “Debate” is skewed further towards the celebration of poignant hindsight than the average human society.

Nowhere else is this laughable Filipino trait evident in the way the Commission on Appointments now scrambles to honour Robredo in death.

“For the hearing of the committee on interior and local government of the Commission on Appointments on Aug. 29, 2012, I will be asking the committee to retain the matter of the late Secretary Robredo’s confirmation on the agenda. I intend to move that the committee unanimously recommend the posthumous confirmation of the late Secretary Robredo,” [Camarines Sur Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte] said.

He said Robredo had been doing a good job as interior and local government secretary and was one of the most hardworking members of President Benigno Aquino’s Cabinet.

“He would have continued to perform well if not for this tragic turn of events,” Villafuerte said.

“We, his province mates in Camarines Sur and his fellow Bicolanos, are very saddened about his death as it is a big loss not only for us but for the whole nation,” Villafuerte said.

Recalling what my friend said about the way Robredo battled trapos throughout his stint as mayor of Naga City, brings a bit more meaning to some little factoids highlighted by that Inquirer report: that Villafuerte is “an uncle of Robredo”, that he had in the past a “falling out” with Robredo, and (get this) had a nephew, a certain Jojo Villafuerte, who was also running for the Naga City mayor seat back in 2007. Fascinating.

A “posthumous” honour for the man, no less. Yeah, those are nice. They give the living — specially those among us who harbour feelings of guilt over being such self-absorbed arses — a much-needed, but irrational sense that we had corrected an absolute failure to honour someone while he or she was alive. But think about the actual lot of good such “awards” do for the dead? His immediate family? Well, yeah.

So, heads up. While everyone blah-blah’s about the dead instead of just quietly burying them, there are things out there that can be payed attention to and addressed — not by prayers, crocodile tears, and quaint eulogies but by world-class modern thinking and action. That is, if Pinoy style politics and traditional ways of thinking do not, yet again, get in the way.

[Original photo courtesy Reuters.]

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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64 Comments on "It is too late to honour the late Jesse Robredo now – because he’s dead"

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jcc
Guest

genuine trapo. he wants to be identified with robredo by pushing for his confirmation as DILG secretary when robredo was already dead.

while the good secretary was mayor of naga city, luis villafuerte tried to unseat him by filing a case in the comelec that robredo was a “chinese.”

jcc
Guest

his sister, pura magtoto and his nephew, jojo villafuerte and another politician sal fortuno were all luis villafuerte’s lapdogs. he was always behind the move to unseat robredo because the mayor refused to be his ‘rubber stamp.”

andrea
Guest

are u fvor 2 honored the death person

upNngrad
Guest

Senator Sotto quickly unleashed the “…Malakanyang was slow…” to CYA kind of explain why Jesse Robredo was acting-secretary when the plane crashed.

Crissy Name
Guest

Just annoying that people who wouldn’t care about him now cares, so sudden like those who didn’t know him, personally are acting as if they knew the person. Please!

crit
Guest
One question still remained: who the heck is he? The question may seem to have offended some of you. Don’t fret, since I’ve already offered a moment of silence and condolences upon hearing the news. Yet, the way the news portray him felt like he was the next Cory or Dolphy or something. It was bothersome, hearing all this guy’s “fight against corruption” and “professional governance” forced into my ears for more than half the airtime of a news TV. Also, funny to note that those two traits now seem to be worth noting for from a government official. Why… Read more »
BenK
Editor

You, Sir or Madam, are wise and interesting. 🙂

andrea
Guest

are u in a relationship now if not can i apply us ur gf or misstress

FallenAngel
Member

crit,
I like what you said above. 🙂

Sue Quirante
Guest
I beg to disagree. I once taught sixth grade civics and was quite alarmed by the negative and fatalistic attitude my young students had about the country. They no longer believed that change was possible! Jesse Robredo was the example that I presented to them to assuage the despair they inherited from adults and media. It matters quite a lot that we do have examples of good governance and leadership, however few. What I suggest is to go beyond appreciating Jesse Robredo’s staunchness of character. His greater legacy lies in the policies that he formulated and encouraged as mayor of… Read more »
Jona-s
Guest

Maybe some here may be your former students. But seriously, for me, what you did was the right thing to do. As we all say, the youth is our future and what better way to prove that than to give them positive examples and models to mold their character to become useful and productive citizens.

Thinker
Guest

Your display of ignorance is such a shame! Do some readings about the damn guy before making any comments! I know you knew him or if you really don’t know him… Pity you, your dumb!

Daphne
Guest
Hi. I’m not sure if I should take offense in what you said or be happy because Pogi, as what we call Sec Jesse in Naga, had always been the quiet leader and servant. We never saw his face plastered all over the city. His own office walls were dilapidated because in his words ‘borrowing millions to repair a city hall is not consistent with my values’. He treated us, his constituents, as equals. He joins us in religious processions, wearing a white shirt and shorts, barefoot. I would stop there; I could probably write a whole book about how… Read more »
upNngrad
Guest

To remember, though, President Noynoy was not as impressed with Jesse Robredo as he was with deLima and other cabinet members, which explains why PersiNoynoy had that Puno-guy with Puno (not Robredo) to be PersiNoy’s “special guy” to deal with PNP.

jonphil
Guest

I heard he was called ‘siopao’ in his school days because of his fat cheeks.

Je Suis Kev!
Guest

Ika nga ang taga Naga.

I knew his name during my vacations in the city a few years back. Y’all Nagaenos definitely have the right to highly regard the man for what he has done. Little did I realize (until now) of his other contributions like empowering the youth to run in the city government, and also that Naga used to be “3rd class” prior to his tenure.

Cheers saimo Malagayong Manay!

crit
Guest
It seems I was too vague enough in my past comment that I may have even addressed the wrong people in my question. Thus, I offer my apologies to you, my dear, to the people who personally knew Robredo and mayhaps even to those whose Robredo’s legacy really had an impact on their lives. Indeed, the accident is a tragic one. I mean a person died. Again, I have already offered my condolences to the man. he may also have earned a bit of my respect with all the talk of his achievements and such. But I cannot mourn for… Read more »
jona-s
Guest
I also feels the same. Almost all the TV channels are tuned in on the same event and practically covers and present the same angles of the story. But you know what, I just keep my silence and bear with the happening for I know it will come to pass. Call it respect or discernment of something of national importance. To me, they are both. It is not even a question of whether or not you knew the deceased. It’s about the appreciation of a solemn event or rite that we as a nation or people has to defer to… Read more »
Makabayang Pinay
Guest
I’m proud that jona-s seems to demonstrate more maturity that you do, crit. There is such a thing as sensitivity for the sentiments of others. If you have nothing good to say, then better shut up and respect the mourning of others–the freedom of expression is not absolute, you know. Right, you are not expected to fake your admiration and mourning for a man you barely knew. And you are also right to attack those who shed crocodile tears. But maybe this detachment stems from your own ignorance and lack of involvement. Haven’t you realized that featuring the past great,… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

This situation reminds me of a tagalog saying:

“Aanhin pa ba ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?”
The government should have honored robredo while he was still alive.

FallenAngel
Member

There’s another tagalog saying I heard growing up:

“Ang kahalagahan ng tao ay nakikita lamang pag siya ay wala na.”

Jona-s
Guest

The saying, I’m afraid, do not apply to Robredo.

He does not need to be honored at this stage of his life especially the kind of ‘honor’ he is getting right now.

Anonymous
Guest

Well, that’s just your opinion but the fact still remains, the government still acted too slow.

Der Fuhrer
Guest
I visited the different news channels and have read broadsheets. A lot of people gave their views about the late secretary Robredo. He is now the talk of the town. Is this yammering phenomenon triggered by media hype, mass hysteria and/or the work of groups out to spin a saga of sorts? There goes the palace talking about a state funeral with honors. A day of national mourning. Secretary Robredo’s actions or human shortcomings when he was still living speaks for itself. BS Aquino tries hard to portray him as nationally important as a head of state, national personality and… Read more »
Alvin Lizada
Guest

To each is own, let them yammer what they want to say about Jesse. What we can do at this point is to note the following people who are using the current situation. Specifically the trapos and government officials.

Jona-s
Guest
As it is, the late Sec. Robredo is “the talk of the town” right now. And I assumed he will be for the next weeks or so. And that is how it is in Pinas every time a popular or well-known personality dies. Same thing with other countries. I don’t mind the honours accorded to him though I do not watch it. I got all the info about him just by watching the news. I got a good picture of what he is as a husband, father, friend, employee and as a man. While the honor accorded him is of… Read more »
Thinker
Guest

@crit: (“who the heck is he”) Your display of ignorance is such a shame! Do some readings about the damn guy before making any comments! I know you knew him or if you really don’t know him… Pity you, your dumb!

Gogs
Member
Politics is guilty of this and so is music. Let me explain. Michael Jackson was as hot as a musical artist can get in the mid 80s. Like anything else there will be a regression. When he died people in my life from maids to our H.R. were blasting M.J. trying to be hip. It’s the same music whether the artist is dead or alive. One of the major themes of what I write is what is good is good regardless of other factors like the environment or time or in our case here, condition of your pulse. If you… Read more »
jona-s
Guest
“Noynoy used his own mother’s still cooling corpse to pole vault into Malacanang.” – Gogs — That I don’t exactly buy. I think, alive, Cory could have increase more of Noynoy’s vote. Unlike Ninoy, Cory died a natural cause. She was not assassinated for people to sympathize and vote for Noynoy. That is a misconception that you continue to hold. And you do it because you hate the man. I understand. I did not vote for Noynoy even though I know the possibility of him winning is great. In fact, I took it against him his being an “Aquino” because… Read more »
scarletpro
Guest

Translation- Lets move on and support the yellowtard movement. This is most productive.

JustSayin
Guest

Translation :

Let’s hope that there will ever come a time that ALL people will vote unanimously, without any exception, for a single candidate. Until then, let’s grab every “i-told-you-so” moment. This will move us forward.

GenMagdalo241
Guest
im a christian although this thread has no religious significance. of course what i like trying to convey here is that being a christian it is forbidden to be like God BUT…. the way i saw people crying kissing mourning robredo’s death infatuates me even more than join the bandwagon. true robredo is a good man but these are the same people who insulted him and put him off the cam during the terms of pnoy. i hate how our countrymen glorifies the dead more than the living who can actually hear what they say. If im a leader, i… Read more »
MidwayHaven
Guest

“I know he died! I’m sorry he died. But I’m not going to pretend he was some great person when he wasn’t. People aren’t upset because [he] died. They’re upset because they’re going to die.”

— Daria Morgendorffer, “That Misery Chick”

Der Fuhrer
Guest

The politics of expediency and opportunism continue to plague this country. Does BS Aquino have shame? Please see the link below…

http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/3235-for-shame

pussyfoot
Guest

Mapapaaga yata ang pag-upo ni Lacson sa DILG? What do you think? The once tagged as a fugitive, who seemed to have played hide and seek with PNP in the DACER-CORBITO murder case, and returned without due shame as a senator, ang kapal ng mukha, will eventually lead the DILG. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Really speculative, if he really plannes that murder before, it’s not impossible he’s connected with Sec Robredo’s. Remember Ping Lacson, RIP!

Hyden Toro
Guest

I don’t have any clue on what Robredo was. I know, he was a politician, like any other Filipino politicians. He has some strength and weaknesses, like the rest of us. He has also some faults. He is not perfect. Because, he is human, like the rest of us. Whatever accolade or honor, you give to the man. He is dead. Let him rest in peace now. His work is finished here on Earth. So, he has to go…We sympathize with his family. You will be in our prayers to solace you in your time of tragedy…

jona-s
Guest
“Whatever accolade or honor, you give to the man. He is dead. So, he has to go…We sympathize with his family. – Hyden Toro — I don’t know but I sense a tinge of sarcasm and hypocrisy in the statement above. Death doesn’t render honor or accolades meaningless. How can you sympathize with his family and at the same time utter the words, ‘he has to go’ when his death, an accident that it was, does not defend on you? He has to go? Meaning, there is really a need for him to go? His work is finished? Again, he… Read more »
Hyden Toro
Guest

We come here on Earth to live a life; to learn things. And to improve our Spiritual Conditions. In Gods, creation: there are Levels and Planes. You advanced your Level, after you die; depending on your work here on Earth.Good works advances you. Bad and evil works, throws you back to reincarnate; to re-learn your lessons. If you cannot get anything in life anymore….You have to go(you physically die)…My belief, and what I know about the Spiritual World is my business. I don’t care, if you believe it or not.

Hyden Toro
Guest

And this is where the concept of KARMA is derived. KARMA means, your work, here on Earth…what you sow, you reap…

Jona-s
Guest

It’s not about you spiritual belief it’s about the sincerity of your statements.

upnngrad
Guest

I still remember that metro-Manila social media got very active months ago about Jesse Robredo. This was when Pilipinas heard words was coming out of Malakanyang that J Robredo did not really have the president’s confidence. If I am remembering correctly, some folks had even said speculated “no big loss” should J Robredo receive his separation papers from Malakanyang because then it would allow J. Robredo to continue his studies at Stanford. Gulong ng kapalaran??

upnngrad
Guest

The thrust of the social-media reaction, of course, was for PersiNoynoy to get the message that J. Robredo was super-qualified and deserved to be confirmed (versus let go) as DILG cabinet secretary.

Der Fuhrer
Guest

One thing is for sure. The politics of opportunism and expediency are now on overdrive mode.

Watch the epal, traditional politicians as they use the memory of the late secretary Robredo for their own agendas. Watch the uziseros do their thing.

Watch the great leader as he elevates the late secretary of the DILG to the stature of a national hero. Does this mean that all of his men and women identify with his virtues? Is it true that there is no more systemic corruption in the government? The political manipulation is completed in time for the 2013 elections.

pussyfoot
Guest

RIP Sec. Robredo, like my father, you both evidently proved the line, “NONE BUT THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.”

There’s noone to be blamed here, just mere speculations. But it is just right that like Secretary Robredo’s soul, these speculation must put to rest peacefully with him, th shed light and clear things out of the possible superstitions regarding his untimely death by putting up an independent investigating team and bring the sole survivor of the incident to the public for proper interrogation. That’s it.

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