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Godspeed Secretary Jesse

“Secretary,” I greeted Jesse Robredo when I bumped into him after the 2010 Magsaysay Awards ceremonies on August 31, 2010, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.

We shook hands, and he joked that he had to “escape” or “maenot na ako” (go ahead) for his next appointment.

As usual he was unassuming although by then had made it from city mayor to a high cabinet official already. He remained friendly as ever.

Indeed, it is sad that tragedy befell his rush to his next engagement.

Secretary Jesse made public service his profession or vocation in life, particularly in the local or community levels. He pushed hard for good governance and transparency even in the face of many obstacles. He took criticisms in stride. And he surely towered over friends and foes alike with his indefatigable desire to help people, especially the disadvantaged and the powerless.

Among his many honors received was the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000 for "his giving credence to the promise of democracy by demonstrating that effective city management is compatible with yielding power to the people."

We pray for his eternal repose and heavenly rewards. And we express our condolences to his entire family, especially to Lenny and their children.

Godspeed Secretary!