Text, photos and video by Luis Liwanag, VERA Files
ISABELA, Basilan -- FILIPINOS even in the farthest parts of the country mourned the death of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
In the conflict-ridden province of Basilan, a meeting of the provincial peace and order council that he was scheduled to attend became a tribute to Robredo, who was called "the most respected DILG secretary."
Robredo convened the council as an answer to Isabela City Bishop Martin Jumoad's pastoral letter last Tuesday decrying the state of lawlessness and government failure in the island of Basilan following a spate of killings and the bombing of the Basilan Cathedral.
Being chairperson of the National Peace and Order Council, Robredo was very much involved in ongoing efforts to restore peace to Basilan.
Hours before his ill-fated flight on Saturday, Aug. 18, Robredo called Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman and Basilan Governor Jum Akbar to set the Tuesday meeting.
The DILG Secretary had been missing since Saturday afternoon when the private plane Aviatour Air he was riding crashed in the waters off Masbate.
Robredo's body was found Tuesday morning. Upon hearing of the recovery of the lifeless body of Robredo from the plane wreckage, the council declared a resolution to dedicate the day's meeting in memory of "a good man."
Hataman described the secretary as "hands on." He said that the ARMM leaders should honor Robredo's legacy by continuing his efforts in capacitating the local government units and implementing transparency and accountability in governance.
(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")