MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - A scion of the influential Villafuerte political clan wonders what is all the fuss about the death and legacy of late Naga City mayor and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Julio Villafuerte, son of Camarines Sur Governor LRay Villafuerte and grandson of Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte, Sr., used social networking site Twitter to question the long national mourning for Robredo.
"Been reading Jess Robredo tweets for weeks now. Someone please inform me of any major accomplishments Jess has done, coz I don't know any," the young Villafuerte said.
"Neil Armstrong's name was all over twitter for 2 days when he died. Jess Robredo's name has been on for weeks when he died. #whatsupwiththat," he said in another tweet.
He later deleted the tweets but Netizens saved screencaps of Villafuerte's posts.
On Tuesday night, the young Villafuerte apologized for his tweets on Robredo.
"I apologize if I had offended anyone in my previous tweets. I did not mean to disrespect Sec. Jess. I was merely inquiring about his life," he said.
"I was away from home & was out of the loop. I understand It's not a justification for my actions. It was my responsibility & am truly sorry," he added.
"I hope the best for him and his family. I once again regret If my inquiries seemed like I was questioning his integrity. It was my mistake," he said.
"I did not mean any malice or misfortune to his reputation. I sincerely hope all of you will understand. It was my mistake, my responsibility," he said.
His father LRay has been gracious and mournful in reaction to the death of Robredo, who is a political rival of their clan.
"We commend and appreciate PNoy , Sec. Mar Roxas for being w/ Sec. Jesse all the way, not letting go til the end. Bicolanos salute both of you!" he said.
Lori Villafuerte, a sister of LRay and aunt of Julio, defended her nephew.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. People see what they want to see and read what they want to read. #powerofsocialmedia," she said on Twitter early Wednesday morning.
"The web-o-sphere is such a powerful thing! It's for faceless people who are so brave to say what they want to say behind a keyboard!" she added.
"People are always entitled to their own opinion. Pls dont hate. You are awesome! Hope u have a nice day," she said in reply to another Twitter user.
The Villafuerte patriarch, Luis Sr., was earlier accused of being one of the reasons why the Ramon Magsaysay awardee for government service was not confirmed as interior secretary before he died.
A brother of the late interior secretary also said they were maligned by Luis Sr. while Robredo was still alive.
The Camarines Sur lawmaker has denied the allegations.
Bicolanos, Nagaueños react
The tweets of his grandson, meanwhile, have drawn flak from Bicolanos and Naga residents.
See Storify for the reactions to Julio Villafuerte's tweets: