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Church, civil leaders: Robredo exemplifies good governance

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CAGAYAN DE ORO City, August 21, 2012—Church and civil leaders here salute today the life of Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo, expressing hope that his death will spark a moral revolution in pursuit of good governance in the country.

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma and several civil society leaders here said Robredo exemplified honesty and hard work in government.

“We will miss him as a public servant that exemplified the ideals of honesty and hard work in government,” Ledesma said upon hearing the news of the recovery of Robredo’s dead body while hosting the launching of a pamphlet on natural family planning at the Archbishop Patrick Cronin Hall this morning.

While extending his condolence and sympathy to the Robredo family, Ledesma expressed hope that Robredo’s death will spark a flame that will grow into a conflagration that will institute good governance, transparency and accountability starting with the Aquino administration and beyond.

His death should give us lasting legacy that good governance is possible and is necessary especially this time because of President PNoy’s own campaign against corruption. Whoever succeeds Sec. Robredo should continue that legacy,” he added.

Ledesma described Robredo as a “friend” of Cagayan de Oro who showed his concern to everyone everytime he visited the city.

“He has also shown his concern for good governance in the city,” he added.

Misamis Oriental vice governor Norris Babiera also expressed hope that Robredo’s death will spark inspiration for good governance much like the death of Sen. Ninoy Aquino 29 years ago today.

“I hope his death will spark the start of good governance revolution as we also commemorate today the 29th death anniversary of Ninoy that sparked the EDSA Revolution. Good bye my good friend Jesse!” said the vice governor.

Babiera said that he only met Robredo twice but despite those short meetings, they have sparked a friendship that will outlast lifetimes.

“I cried upon learning of his death…I will miss our shortlived but very enriching friendship,” Babiera said.

The Balay Mindanaw Group (BMG), a group of NGOs fighting for equity, development and peace in Mindanao, took the news of Robredo’s death in stride.

“Sec. Jesse is a dear friend and partner of Balay Mindanaw…” said BMG founder and president Charlito “Kaloy” Manlupig. BMG is at the forefront of the Budget Tracking for Transparent Accountable Governance (BTTAG) program which Robredo wholeheartedly supported.

“Let us always remember why we are doing this: We are not interested in transparency for transparency’s sake; we are not interested in accountability for the sake of accountability. We are interested because transparency and accountability will deliver better outcomes for the people we are serving,” Robredo said in his keynote address during the launching of BTTAG in 2010 in Davao City.

Charmaine Mae “XX” Dagapioso-Baconga, deputy director for Administration and Finance as well as concurrent Coordinator for Peace Education of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI), the mother NGO of BMG especially praised SILG Robredo for believing in the CSO’s/NGO’s capacity and capability in instituting good governance, transparency and accountability in government.

It was Robredo who made it possible for CSOs/NGOs to work as a key partner with local governments because he strongly believed that CSOs/NGOs are also stakeholders which have so much to contribute towards good governance. He also believed that “leadership is a shared responsibility.”

During his imcumbency as mayor of Naga City, Robredo effected a strong partnership with CSOs, which made the city a model of good governance, transparency and accountability.

“If we have to impose the obligation on the constituency, it is necessary that they should know why we are imposing these obligations on them. If we need to raise taxes, the people have the right to be informed how we are using public money and the only way to inform them is to open the books of City Hall. Aside from getting pogi points because the city government has become transparent, the other important element is that we were able to get stakeholdership on difficult things that we need to do in the city,” he said during the BTTAG launching.

Former Iligan City mayor and CSO leader Franklin Quijano simply thanked Robredo “for being a blessing” by being at “the forefronts of the advocacy for good governance.”

Robredo’s body was recovered this morning after three days of non-stop search and rescue operation PNoy personally oversaw. (Bong D. Fabe)


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