MANILA, Philippines – Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo joined the country in mourning the untimely demise of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
In a tweet in Bikolano language on Tuesday, Arroyo said: "RIP Sec Jesse Robredo. Pinaheling mo sa gabos na an sarong tawo pwedeng magserbi nin tultol na mayong kolor pulitika. Dios an mabalos saimo."
Translated to Tagalog, this means: “Pinakita mo sa lahat na ang isang tao pwedeng magsilbi na walang kolor pulitika. God will repay you."
Arroyo, son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, explained that Robredo never let their political differences get in the way.
In a subsequent tweet, Arroyo said, "It was never politics for Sec Robredo. Despite being on different sides politically, he'd always talk to me and help me out when he could."
Robredo is a known political leader in Camarines Sur, where Arroyo is congressional representative of the 2nd district.
“I remember when we got a place in Naga in '04, then-Mayor Robredo even dropped by and had dinner with me and my wife. Kwentuhan lang kami. Since I was in college, then-Mayor Jesse would tell me to never hesitate to call him or ask for his help. Said that every time, even as Sec,” Arroyo recalled.
Arroyo and Robredo are both alumni of Ateneo de Naga.
Robredo was a key leader of the Kaya Natin Movement, which was critical of President Arroyo during her presidency.