MANILA, Philippines – Kaya Natin Movement, a civil society group advocating good governance, will continue the legacy left behind by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
“We will continue our advocacy definitely and we will continue to preserve and live out his legacy. We hope to be able to continue to share his life and his work to more people and hopefully influence more local government officials to be able to follow his lead,” the group’s co-convenor Harvey Keh said on Tuesday.
In an interview with ANC’s “Top Story,” Keh described Robredo as an “effective, ethical and empowering” leader, traits that made him the role model for Kaya Natin.
“We actually based the ideals and principles of Kaya Natin on the kind of leader that he is,” Keh said. “When we go around schools, we always talk about the kind of leader that our country needs has to have these three elements.”
Keh said Robredo possessed qualities of an honest leader even when we was still mayor of Naga City.
According to Keh, Robredo was a family man who lived a simple lifestyle, and always had his eyes set on helping others.
Back when Robredo was still Naga City mayor, he did not spend funds to improve the city hall, Keh added.
“Ang sabi niya parati sa akin, ibibigay ko na lang na serbisyo sa tao, ipapambili ko nalang ng gamot, pangtulong ko nalang sa edukasyon sa mga bata sa Naga kaysa gamitin ko ‘yung pera panggawa ng malaking palasyo,” Keh said.
Robredo, who served as a mayor of Naga for 18 years, was also “anti-dynasty,” according to Keh, pointing out when he was appointed as Interior and Local Government secretary in 2010, Robredo did not push for her daughter to run for office.
Keh, who is also the director for youth leadership and social entrepreneurship of the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government, worked with Robredo as co-convenor in the Kaya Natin Movement.
Robredo was found dead on Tuesday after a plane carrying him crashed last Saturday. He founded Kaya Natin Movement in 2002.