AUSTRIA - Filipinos in Austria, particularly Bicolanos, are mourning the death of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
"When I was still in Bicol, I've seen how he changed and improved Naga City with all his might for everyone to be safe and be proud to be a citizen of Naga. Thank you very much," Volet Buenaventura Gerstl, former President of Bikol Society in Austria told ABS-CBN News.
Other Bikolanos in Austria said Robredo was popular for his reformist views and policies and clean image that were prominent when he became Naga City's mayor in 1988.
They said Robredo deviated from the political patronage and corruption that characterized traditional politicians.
"Secretary Robredo is indeed a good family man, a good father. He is the voice of the poor. A truly public servant with integrity. His name will last in the heart of Bicolandia, and continue to smile in the world," said Paul M.
"Nakikidamay po kami sa pamilya Robredo. Gusto naming ipaabot ang pagdadalamhati. Nakikidamay po ang gabos na Bicolano," said Christie Aguirre.
"Si Jess Robredo saka gapos na parientes niya nakikiramay kami. May he rest in peace and may his family and friends find comfort with the Lord," said Aida Molina, who is also from Bicol.
Just like in the Philippines, Filipinos in Austria were conducting prayer vigil and dedicating masses for the safety of Robredo and his two companions following their plane crash off Masbate City on Saturday.
The Filipino Catholic community and Bikolanos in Austria also sponsored a mass for the repose of Robredo's soul.