MANILA (UPDATE) - President Aquino conferred the republic’s highest recognition on the late Secretary Jesse Robredo, coinciding with the 100th day since his passing.
Robredo’s wife, Leni, and children Aika, Patricia, and Jill received the Quezon Service Cross on behalf of Robredo.
The Quezon Service Cross, created in memory of President Manuel L. Quezon, is the highest recognition that the republic can give in recognition of an honoree’s “exemplary service to the nation”
An individual receives the award only upon the nomination of the President and concurrence of both houses of Congress.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Robredo expressed her family’s gratitude for the honor given to her husband.
She said the people’s appreciation of Sec. Robredo’s service has helped strengthen them while grieving.
“We look forward to the time that we can finally say time has really healed the pain of losing him. For now, it has become more difficult for us as we struggle each day without him in our midst. But the people’s love and appreciation of my husband sustained us in our darkest hours. It helped our family grieve,” Mrs. Robredo said.
She also spoke of how her husband believed that the current administration could put a conclusion to the “unfinished revolution” through its promotion of good governance.
“With the conferment of the Quezon Service Cross award, we can only hope that there will be more people like him who will serve rather than criticize, collaborate rather than divide, build up rather than tear down, and engage in order to understand,” she said.
Aquino lauded Robredo for his sincerity, humility, and dedication to service.
“Ang mga bakas ng tsinelas ni Jesse Robredo ang nagdala sa atin ngayon dito—tanda ito sa layo ng atin nang narating, at sa layo pa ng ating lalakbayin. Siya na rin po mismo ang nagsabi, ‘For this country to succeed, we need to make heroes of the ordinary people. We need to make heroes of ourselves,’” Aquino said.
Aquino admitted missing Sec. Robredo and called on public servants to emulate Robredo’s example.
“Palagay ko, tayong lahat dito ay pare-parehong nami-miss si Jesse. Siguro ho, kailangang tandaan na natin ang kanyang halimbawa, ang kanyang buhay,” he said.
“Sa ganda ng kanyang ginawa, tiyak pong nandoon na po siya sa langit tumitingin sa ating lahat at tinatanggap ang gantimpalang talaga namang nakalaan para sa tumugon po sa mga habilin ng ating pong Maykapal.”
THREE GENERATIONS REPRESENTED
Before Robredo, only four individuals had received the Quezon Service Cross: Carlos P. Romulo in 1951, Emilio Aguinaldo in 1956, Ramon Magsaysay in 1957 (posthumous), and Benigno Aquino Jr. in 2004 (posthumous).
Quezon’s daughter Zenaida Quezon-Avanceña and grandson Undersecretary Manolo Quezon represented the Quezon family.
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, grandson of President Manuel Roxas who proposed the award in 1946, spoke about the history of the Quezon Service Cross.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, great-grandson of Emilio Aguinaldo, served as the master of ceremonies.