Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has likened the leadership style of Vice President Leni Robredo to that of her late husband Secretary Jesse Robredo who made a great mark in public office for his good governance and anti-corruption platform.
In remembering Jesse Robredo on his 6th death anniversary last Aug. 18, De Lima proudly recalled how the long-time mayor of Naga City in Bicol has admirably implemented significant reforms in the area without resorting to any forms of violence.
“Pinatunayan ni Jesse ang tayog ng kayang marating ng Naga sa pamamagitan ng mga programang nagsusulong ng katapatan at pananagutan sa gobyerno, at pagtutok sa tunay na pangangailangan ng mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan,” she said in an official statement.
“Hindi na nga nakapagtatakang ito rin ang klase ng pamumunong nakikita natin sa asawa niyang si Vice President Leni Robredo: May nakakakita man o wala, minamaliit man ang kanyang kakayahan ng ilang makapangyarihan, tuloy lang sa trabaho at pagsisilbi si VP Leni,” she added.
Jesse Robredo served as mayor of Naga City for 19 years which earned him several accolades for good governance practices, including the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000.
Known for his “Tsinelas Leadership,” Jesse Robredo was often seen walking around Naga City wearing an ordinary shirt, jeans, and rubber slippers. During disasters in the city, he was always the first one to be seen on the ground.
He was the Department of the Interior and Local Government secretary when he died in a plane crash in Masbate province in 2012 at the age of 54.
“Hindi tinutulugan ni Jesse ang pagdating at ang kasagsagan ng kalamidad–naroon siya para alamin at tugunan ang problema. Sa kanyang sinseridad, malinaw na kahit matagal na sa serbisyo, kailanman, hindi naging “trapo” si Jesse, kundi isang lingkod bayang inuuna ang kapakanan ng kanyang mga nasasakupan,” she said.
De Lima said the Vice President is facing the same challenges that her late husband faced in the past as some sinister groups are trying to besmirch VP Leni’s good reputation.
“Sa kabila ng kanyang mabuting hangarin sa kapwa, mayroon pa ring mga pilit na sumisira sa kanya dahil sa pansariling agenda. Na kung sino pang dapat na tumulong para mas mapalawak ang paglilingkod, ay siya pang inuuna ang politika at handa pang lumabag sa Konstitusyon para paboran ang mga pinagkakautangan ng loob,” she said.
“Tiwala po tayong sa kabila ng anumang negatibismo, paninira, at kasinungalingan, kasama ni VP Leni ang mas nakararami–ang mga naka-tsinelas, ang mga nasa laylayan, ang bawat disenteng Pilipino–upang ituloy ang laban ni Jesse: Ang laban para sa pananaig ng demokrasya, katotohanan, at katarungang panlipunan,” she added.
Duterte recently launched scathing tirades against the Vice President, claiming that she is not worthy to be his successor should he decide to resign because she could not supposedly handle the pressing issues hounding the country.
Coming into Robredo’s defense, De Lima said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 365 that “upon succession to the presidency, VP Leni would certainly end all the killings and bring the killers to justice; she would immediately stop the policy of mendicancy to China and once again fight for our Spratlys territories through the maximum use of the landmark ruling of the UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal,” among others.