'10 years without Jesse': Leni Robredo marks husband's 10th death anniversary

Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2022 12:58 PM

Former Vice President Leni Robredo commemorates the 10th death anniversary of former interior secretary Jesse Robredo. Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership's Facebook page
Former Vice President Leni Robredo commemorates the 10th death anniversary of former interior secretary Jesse Robredo. Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership's Facebook page

MANILA — Former Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday led the commemoration of her husband Jesse Robredo's 10th death anniversary with a tribute to his "tsinelas leadership." 

Robredo and her 3 daughters offered flowers at Jesse's grave in their hometown Naga City, joined by friends and members of the Liberal Party. 

“Kung ano man ang iniwan na legasiya niya, hindi lang ninyo sinisigurong buhay ito, pero lalo pa ninyong pinag-iibayo,” Robredo said in a speech in her native Bikol. 

(Whatever legacy Jesse left, you ensure that it not only on, but you also improve it.) 

“Ito rin ang paniniwala ng aking asawa noong siya nabubuhay pa… hindi lamang sukatan sa pagiging mabuting pinuno ang nagawa niya, hindi kung ano ang nakikita, kundi kung ano ang naibahagi niya. [Ang magaling na pinuno] tinitiyak na ang mga susunod na lider ay mas magiging magaling pa sa kanya. Sa tingin ko sa Naga City, naipakita natin ito,” she added. 

(This was also the belief of my husband: that the measure of a good leader is not just what he did, but what he contributed. A good leader ensures that the next leaders will be even better than him. And I think we showed that in Naga.) 

Jesse was a 3-term mayor of Naga City, during which he instituted a merit-based system of hiring and promoting government employees, cleaned up local vice lords, organized roads to end gridlocks, and spurred new enterprises at the city's edges. 

Known for wearing slippers and shirts, Jesse won the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Asia's highest honor and version of the Nobel Prize, for his leadership of Naga. 

He served as interior secretary under former president Benigno Aquino III. Jesse died on his way home to Naga on Aug. 18, 2012, when the Piper Seneca plane carrying him suffered engine failure and crashed off the Masbate coast. 
 

Leni Robredo marks husband Jesse's 10th death anniversary 1
Leni Robredo marks husband Jesse's 10th death anniversary 2
Leni Robredo marks husband Jesse's 10th death anniversary 3

Screenshot from Jesse M. Robredo Foundation Facebook page/cite>

Screenshot from Jesse M. Robredo Foundation Facebook page/cite>

Screenshot from Jesse M. Robredo Foundation Facebook page/cite>

On his 10th death anniversary, his family also joined the relaunch of the Gawad Jesse M. Robredo, which recognizes mayors for good governance. 
 
"By highlighting the leadership practices, values, and good governance programs of selected mayors, we hope to inspire other leaders in becoming partners for good governance," the award-giving body said on Facebook. 

Launched by the Jesse Robredo Foundation in 2019, the award faced difficulty in continuing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Maraming salamat sa mahabang panahon ng pagmamahal kay Jesse, maraming salamat sa 10 years na hindi natin siya kasama, pinaparamdam niyo na buhay na buhay pa rin siya sa puso at isip nating lahat," Robredo said during the award's relaunch. 

(Thank you for loving Jesse. Thank you very much for making us feel that he lives on in our hearts.) 

Robredo on Instagram also posted photos with her husband of 25 years, with the caption, "10 years without Jesse."

The widow said in several interviews that she had no intention to remarry. 

A 2015 law declared Aug. 18 of every year as “Jesse Robredo Day”, a special working holiday

— With a report from Jonathan Magistrado