Jesse Robredo Hero for every Filipino

By Harvey S. Keh

Posted at May 25 2013 12:44 PM | Updated as of May 25 2013 08:44 PM

The recent victory of Atty. Leni Robredo, widow of the late Jesse Robredo has once again evoked memories of the late DILG Secretary and Mayor of Naga City. Despite the vote-buying that occurred in their district in Camarines Sur, Atty. Robredo still won by a huge margin which was caused mainly by the overwhelming desire of her constituents to finally put an end to the Villafuerte political dynasty that has ruled their district for more than 20 years.

It is good to note that the late Sec. Robredo is actually the nephew of the Villafuerte patriarch and it was in fact Rep. Luis Villafuerte who helped him win his first election as Mayor of Naga City. Yet, due to Robredo’s tough stance against illegal activities such as jueteng, he had a falling out with his uncle who eventually fielded candidates against him in the next elections but not one among these candidates stood a chance against the well-loved and highly-respected Robredo.

Butch Robredo, brother of the late Jesse Robredo

Modern day Filipino Hero exhibit

Now, as Robredo’s birth anniversary draws near (May 27), the Jesse Robredo Foundation together with the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership and the Ateneo School of Government has opened a 3-day memorabilia exhibit from May 24-26,2013 at the 3rd Floor of the SM City North EDSA in Quezon City. This exhibit highlights the different advocacies and sectors that Robredo was active in up until his untimely passing last August 18,2012.

The exhibit showcases Robredo not only as an icon of Good Governance but also shows how he was active in helping improve the quality of public education in our country as a Board Member of Synergeia Foundation. He traveled from the northern province of Cagayan up to the southern most tip province of Tawi-Tawi just to be able to help mayors and other local government officials implement innovative and responsive education reform programs aimed at helping more young Filipino children learn to read.

Exhibit proper
Atty. Leni Robredo welcoming everyone to the Exhibit
Aquino, Roxas, Robredo, Belmonte and Guingona formally open the Exhibit

Fighting for the rights of the Marginalized and the Urban Poor

Aside from this, the exhibit also highlights Robredo’s involvement as a champion for the rights of the urban poor and the homeless. Last 2011, Urban Poor Associates (UPA) awarded Robredo as its Urban Poor Person of the Year for his tireless efforts to provide adequate shelter and housing to urban poor communities all over the country. Robredo was also President Noynoy Aquino’s main point person and mediator whenever there were violent demolitions and evictions being done at urban poor communities.

Finally, many Filipinos do not know that Robredo was also active in supporting the rights and welfare of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). He was an active partner of Physicians for Peace, an organization that provided prosthetic legs to amputees. Whereas an amputee wouldn’t have been able to work due to his or her disability, now, they are given a new lease on life because of the efforts done by Physicians for Peace. At a young age, Robredo was already exposed to the life of a PWD as his dad eventually became totally blind when Robredo was just 5 years old.

While many people know of Robredo as a government leader, the exhibit will also show how in his own small way he championed the rights of the marginalized sectors in our society. Hopefully, our government and public sector leaders will continue to emulate and live out his example of being a true Filipino servant leader.

The Jesse Robredo Modern Day Filipino Hero Exhibit will be open from May 24-26,2013, 10am to 9pm at the 3rd Floor of the SM City North EDSA, Quezon City. Admission is free.

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