The Inbox

Robredo and PWDs

By VERA Files

The late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo had always made known that his personal advocacies included looking after the welfare of people with disabilities (PWDs).

"This is personal to me," he said in his keynote address at the launching last April 18 of the Fully Abled Nation, a multisectoral initiative to encourage PWDs to register and vote in the 2013 midterm elections. "I am no stranger to PWDs."

A rare eye ailment had turned his father blind when Robredo was only 4.  The hereditary ailment also left two of Robredo's siblings blind.

He thus told the audience, many of whom were PWDs: "I know how you feel." (VERA Files and Unlimited Productions are posting the video of Robredo's speech.)

The 54-year-old Robredo died in a plane crash on Saturday. His body was found Tuesday morning inside the fuselage of the twin-engine Piper Seneca aircraft that crashlanded off Masbate City.

In his years in government, Robredo kept his word to promote and protect the rights of PWDs—first as the multi-awarded mayor of Naga City and later when he became interior and local government secretary.

As mayor, he saw to it that PWDs were represented in Naga City's People's Council. When he left City Hall, he had set up a resource center for blind that included books in Braille and computers programmed to enable the blind to use the Internet.

In September 2010, just a few months as interior secretary, Robredo issued a memorandum to all local government units reiterating a provision of the revised Magna Carta for PWDs to create a Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO)—or for poorer towns, appoint at least a PWD focal person.

His memo also reminded local governments to include an allocation for the PDAOs in their annual plan and budget and to implement other provisions of the Magna Carta for PWDs, Accessibility Law and other PWD legislation.

In his address at the FAN launching, Robredo acknowledged how difficult it is for PWDs to vote during elections.   His father and siblings had voted in all the elections he had run.

"Unless someone accompanies the (PWD) voters, very likely they will not exercise their right to vote," he said.

But at the same time, he reminded the PWDs the reason they must exercise their right of suffrage: "Ang pinakikinggan 'yung sumusulat sa balota (Only those who vote have a voice)."

Following the recovery of Robredo's body, President Benigno Aquino III proclaimed Tuesday until Robredo's interment "Days of National Mourning."

The flag will be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset in all government buildings and installations in the country and abroad for six days.

Robredo's remains were scheduled to be moved to the Archbishop's Palace in Naga City late Tuesday night and will be transferred to Malacanang on Friday morning.—Yvonne T. Chua

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Phl now biggest grower of GM crops
    Phl now biggest grower of GM crops

    The Philippines is now the twelfth biggest grower of genetically modified (GM) crops. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options