MANILA - Anti-crime crusaders joined the rest of the country in mourning the passing of Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo whom they described as a close partner in the fight against crime and violence.
In a statement, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), through its founding chairman and president, Dante Jimenez, said victims of crime all over the country are saddened by Robredo's demise.
The VACC said it recognizes Robredo's example of good governance. Robredo is a recipient of the prestigious and much coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award, often labeled the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Asia.
"Victims of violence and corruption are saddened by the loss of DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo which is irreparable. He had shown his fellow government workers the value of good governance and leadership by example," the VACC said.
The group called on Pres. Aquino to appoint a new DILG chief "who is non-violent and incorruptible."
"What will happen to us now?"
Teresita Ang See of the Citizens' Action Against Crime, meantime, is worried about the plight of victims of various crimes as well as anti-crime advocates now that Robredo is gone.
She described the late DILG chief, who supervised the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), as a dedicated public servant who was willing to work in the wee hours in the name of public service.
"Sec. Robredo, among all cabinet members, worked most closely with us. Kahit hatinggabi. Hindi nag-aatubiling makipag usap si Sec. sa mga biktima kung kailangan," she said.
She recounted how Robredo flew to Singapore to personally debrief a kidnap victim released in Cotabato.
She added that many anti-crime advocates trust only Robredo regardng complaints against police officers. "Paano na kami ngayon?" she asked.