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(5th update 11:17 p.m.) Condolences and prayers continue to pour in for DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, whose death was confirmed after his body was recovered in waters off Masbate City on Tuesday morning. A plane carrying Robredo had crashed in Masbate Bay on Saturday, and search and recovery operations continue for two pilots who were with him in the accident.
Vice President Jejomar Binay: "I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Sec. Robredo. I urge everyone to pray for them, that they trust God’s plan for all of us. They need our wholehearted prayers and support."
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile: “I deeply mourn the untimely demise of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo and extend my sincere condolences to his family.
“Robredo epitomized genuine commitment to reform and dedication to duty both as DILG Secretary and as Mayor of Naga City for 18 years. He will be greatly missed.
“On behalf of the Senate, I join the rest of the nation in grieving over the passing of a well-loved public servant and urge the national government to extend full state honors for him in grateful recognition of his services to the country.”
Senator Franklin Dilon: "Our country is grieving for we have just lost a man who had manifested genuine sincerity to serve his country. Truly, he was a one of a kind public servant. I was honored to have worked with Secretary Jesse on various projects to advance developments in the LGUs. Also, I salute Secretary Jesse for sharing his vision with us and for helping us in crafting sound policies in the Liberal Party where he belonged."
Sen. Pia Cayetano, who is out of the country, posted her sentiments on her Twitter account: "My family and I join the nation in mourning the loss of a great Filipino servant and friend Sec Jesse Robredo and his companions.”
"We pray that the families of Sec Jesse, his pilot J. Bahinting and co-pilot K. Chand may be enveloped in love at this difficult time. I consider Sec. Jesse not just a friend but a mentor. I was campaigning as a senator in 2004 when I met him as mayor of Naga City.”
"Later, I arranged with Mayor Jesse to visit Naga City to learn from their best practices, they were best in everything. For years, I've told people how progressive and inspiring Naga City [is], one of my favorite cities in the country.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson: “A sad day for Filipinos. I will always remember and be thankful to Sec. Jesse Robredo for personally albeit quietly helping me during my difficult time while in hiding.”
“Robredo was so real and natural as a person in dealing with people, close friends or not.”
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero: “I mourn the loss of Secretary Robredo. He embodied everything a Filipino leader should be. He was an honored son of Bicol, a decent and loving husband and father, and a principled man whose honesty and integrity were beyond question.”
“My family and I express our deepest condolences to the Secretary's family. I call on Bicolanos, as well as the entire nation, for prayers for the eternal repose of his soul and for his family and loved ones that they find strength to see this tragedy through. While he has left us to be with the Creator, his memory and legacy should be remembered, now and in the days to come.”
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa: “I join my colleagues in the Cabinet and the whole nation in mourning the passing of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and pilots Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Kshitiz Chand.”
“Secretary Robredo was a dedicated public servant and a champion of good governance whose track record in public service has been an inspiration to all those who believe in government as an instrument for positive change.”
“Our prayers go out to the families of Secretary Robredo and his companions, as well as to his constituents in Naga and the officials and employees of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, who lost a leader who tirelessly worked and contributed greatly to President Aquino's campaign for good governance as a means to improve the lives of our countrymen.”
Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda: "Jesse has passed. The nation has lost one of her finest servant-leaders. Join us in mourning and tribute."
Lacierda also announced that a mass will be held for the repose of the soul of Robredo at 11 am at the La Salle Greenhills. "We invite all who deeply feel his loss to join us."
Secretary Sonny Coloma: "Secretary Jesse Robredo served our people selflessly and honorably. He was an exemplary public servant, a pathfinder in implementing innovations in governance. He inspired all those with whom he worked by dint of his enthusiasm and devotion to duty. Our thoughts and prayers go with his family."
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad: “His unflagging sense of integrity and diligence served as an example to many of his colleagues in and outside government. These same qualities have made him a most valuable and highly regarded member of President Aquino’s cabinet.”
Under Robredo’s leadership, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) “was able to make significant breakthroughs in establishing good governance practices among local government units and key government institutions,” Abad said.
“As brief as Sec. Jesse’s term was, we fervently believe that the reforms he championedin the DILG will be sustained faithfully long after his passing.”
Education Secretary Armin Luistro: "As a fellow Lasallian, I mourn an outstanding alumnus who has been a example of what it means to use one's gifts for service. As a Filipino, I am urged by Sec Jesse's legacy to continue to believe that there are good men and women who are willing to sacrifice and give their lives for the sake of our nation."
"Isabuhay natin ang sinimulan ni Jesse!" he said.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.: “He was a good man. That fact is a great source of pride for you and for those of us in government who worked alongside him.”
“Beyond his numerous accomplishments as a government official, it weighs more as it recognizes and respects his integrity, sincerity and dedication as a public servant as well as a family man.”
Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II: “Napakalaking sapatos ang pupunan ng papalit sa kanya.”
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman: “The recovery of the remains of Secretary Jesse Robredo has helped achieve a measure of closure and lessened the grief of his family and the nation.”
“Now the solemnities and formalities of a wake and interment have been made possible even as his relatives, friends, associates and the people are given the opportunity to pay him their last respects.”
“My constituents and I deeply mourn the loss of an exemplary public servant and an outstanding Bicolano.”
Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat: “I hope the next DILG (chief) would be as righteous as he is.
“Not exactly like him, but to have his values of governance because I think it’s rare to find in a generation of leaders someone like Jesse Robredo.”
AKO Bicol partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe: “It is painful for us to have lost two public servants [in just one week (the other being Rep. Salvador Escudero)] so whom we have looked up and respected as Filipinos who have exemplified the true meaning of matuwid na daan.”
Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teddy Casiño: “We were witness to his compassion for the informal settlers whose violent demolitions we both tried to stop. His death is a big loss to the cause of good governance.”
Cebu Representative Luigi Quisumbing: “We shall pray for Secretary Robredo, and always bear gratitude for everything he has done for us and our fellow Filipinos. It is a testament to his commitment and love for our country that Secretary Robredo died in the line of duty. He is a fitting model of what every public servant should be.”
Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo: “[Robredo] was a sterling personification of integrity, selfless dedication and dynamism in public service.”
Castelo proposed a hero’s burial for the late secretary to recognize his “life of heroism.”
Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara: “The Daang Matuwid lost one of its champions today. The best tribute we can give a great man is to continue the fight."
“Sec. Robredo, as a modern day hero and Public servant, should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani."
“The momentum for initiating reforms is right in front of us right now, and the untimely passing of Sec. Jesse hopefully further invigorates us working in the government to continue on with his legacy, with his brand of principled leadership.”
Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III: "Goodbye, Jesse Robredo. Salamat sa lahat ng ginawa mo para sa Bayan."
Quezon then quoted the words of Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru on the passing of Gandhi:
"The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere…The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later, that light will be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts. For that light represented something more than the immediate past, it represented the living, the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom."
Tesda chief Joel Villanueva: "We are saddened by the sudden demise of Secretary Jesse Robredo—one of the cornerstones of this administration and a person of extraordinary accomplishment, integrity and committed service.”
"Death ended his life, but not the inspiration that he instilled in all of us to always do what is good. For this, he will always live in our hearts," Villanueva added.
The British embassy: "The British embassy is saddened by the death of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Government of the Philippines and the family of Secretary Robredo."
Canadian Ambassador Christopher Thornley: "The Government of Canada would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the family of Secretary Robredo, the Government of the Philippines and the Filipino people. He will be remembered as a leader who ushered in a new era of political reform in the Philippines, and inspired government workers to selfless devotion in public service. He was an icon of change and a passionate advocate of good governance.”
“Secretary Robredo is recognized for his contributions to government transparency and democratic development; values that Canada strongly shares with the Philippines. He will be sincerely missed by the Filipino people, including the 600,000 Canadians of Filipino origin.”
Advocacy group Migrante: “We extend our condolences to his wife and children, relatives and friends, and to all the people of Naga and the rest of Bicol.”
“We echo the call of other groups to let him rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. His public life, works and good deeds are enough reasons to qualify that his remains be laid at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He has done a heroic act in modelling what a good public servant is.”
With Joseph Ubalde, Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Chichi Conde, Clara Masinag, Romsanne Ortiguero for InterAksyon.com and Radyo 5