MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Aug. 23 (PIA) -- Governor Damian Mercado, like other leaders across the country, expressed sadness at the untimely death of Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), citing the event as a big loss to local government units (LGUs).
Mercado made the statement in a live phone interaction over dyDM, Wednesday when anchorman Zaldy Olita sought his reaction on news that Robredo‚€™s dead body was found still strapped in the private plane 180 feet below the seawaters off Masbate three days after it crashed Saturday.
The DILG chief was on his way home to Naga City after a speaking engagement in Cebu City when the accident happened. His two pilots also died while an aide managed to survive.
Robredo will be remembered well for leaving a legacy of good programs while serving the DILG right after President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in 2010, said Mercado.
Among the programs now integrated in local governance that Robredo successfully pushed were aimed at instilling transparency, like the seal of good housekeeping, full disclosure policy and, lately, seal of disaster preparedness, Mercado added.
‚€œWe cannot forget that he was supposed to be our guest during the 12th Charter Day of Maasin City last August 10. In fact, streamers welcoming him still hung above the city streets,‚€Ě Mercado mused.
Robredo, however, was unable to come during that time as he was busy accompanying the President inspecting flooded areas in Metro Manila and greater parts of Luzon, sending instead League of Governors President Alfonso Umali Jr. of Negros Oriental.
Mercado said he personally met Robredo the Tuesday before he died and he was impressed at how ordinary a person he was, no trappings of a high government official.
Robredo became Mayor of Naga City in 1998, and it was also during this year that he became the Mayor of Maasin, then a town, Mercado related, as he extended his heartfelt condolences to the family in behalf of the officials and peoples of Southern Leyte.
Flags flew at half-mast in schools and public offices here today and the President had decreed a national day of mourning in deference to the esteemed Cabinet member. (PIA8, Southern Leyte)