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Dec 02nd
Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park OFWs Condole On Death of “Icon of Good Governance”
OFWs Condole On Death of “Icon of Good Governance” PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Obituary-Memorial Park
Monday, 27 August 2012 16:47




(© 2012 Journal Group Link International)


C HICAGO (jGLi) – From “Siopao” to “Icon of Good Governance.”


A pre-school and high-school classmate of the man who would become Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo has now described the late Cabinet official as a poster boy for government officials, who would like to make a difference.


This was one of the eulogies of Carlos A. Cortes, Jr., one of the Filipinos, who trooped to the Philippine Consulate General’s office Friday (Aug. 24) to sign the condolence book made available by Deputy Consul General Orontes V. Castro, who was minding the Consulate in the absence of Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim, who was visiting other Midwestern states.


Mr. Cortes, a Philippine FLAG lawyer and former Philippine Department of Justice official, said his classmates in elementary and high schools in Naga City, would surely miss Mr. Robredo because he had kept himself grounded by being in touch with them even if he was playing the part of one of the more challenging and busier departments in the Philippine bureaucracy.


Mr. Cortes, who immigrated to the U.S. several years ago to join his wife, Gigi, who is a Registered Nurse, and their family, said that from kindergarten and up to high school, he observed up close how their classmates endearingly called “Siopao” because of his rounded face and his Chinese eyes, rose from the ranks.


Cortes, who was nicknamed “Kapal” by a close circle of friends, was recommended by then Mayor Robredo to become Naga City’s Chief Prosecutor. But Cortes did not get the stamp of approval of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because Robredo did not belong to the Arroyo Administration party.


Now active in Chicago as member of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) and Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) and Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest, Cortes said the keeper of the list of nicknames of their classmates and friends of Robredo is Andy Bichara, who is nicknamed “Viet Cong.” Bichara is the grandson of a matriarch, who owns a chain of movie houses in the Naga City and environs.




F ormer Solicitor General Joel Cadiz, who was former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president, is part of the small circle and is called “Choco” for his dark skin similar to a chocolate color. Mr. Cadiz is planning to run for the 3rd Congressional district in Camarines Sur being vacated by the incumbent Rep. Luis Villafuerte, who is now being termed out.


To show that the late Secretary Robredo did not forget his friends, Cortes said he and Mr. Cadiz  were invited by Mr. Robredo when Robredo received his Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000. He said Robredo literally followed in the footsteps of the legendary Magsaysay, who died in a plane crash, like Robredo.


Cortes said that if “President Cory Aquino is called “Icon of Democracy,” I call Robredo “Icon of Good Governance.”


Cortes’ friend and fellow member of US4PGG in Chicago, Illinois Marlon L. Pecson, a native of Daraga, Albay, and whose parents hailed from Naga, said “it is an honor to commemorate the passing away of statesman Jesse Robredo. Ang pagkamatay ni Jesse Robredo ay nagpapatunay lang na ang mabubuting gawain ay tatagal hanggang sa walang hangan. (His good deeds will never die.) We also express sadness for the passing away of Sorsogon Congressman Salvador H. Escudero III.”


Evelyn de la Rosa Tolledo, a native of Pandan, Catanduanes and president of the Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest, said the death of Secretary Robredo is not only a big loss to Bikolanos but also to the entire Philippines.


Secretary Robredo, 54, died in a plane crash on Aug. 18 in the Philippines.


Deputy Consul General Orontes V. Castro said the Philippine Consulate is expressing its deepest sympathy for the death of an outstanding public servant in the Philippines.


Among those who condoled for the death of Mr. Robredo were Maribel Varona, Marilou Berry, Grace Gargantiel, Kit Miranda and Chawiz Olario, all Philippine alumni of Apo Midwest; and Edwin Marquez of UP Los Banos and Lucena City;


For his part, Joe Balmadrid, also a member of Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest, said the deeds of every government official will now be measured against the high standard set by Secretary Robredo.


Mr. Balmadrid’s wife, Ellen Balmadrid, said being born and raised in Naga, she was privy to the good deeds of Mr. Robredo, who as mayor, transformed Naga into a world-class city. “Condolence to the Robredo family. May he rest in peace. The good hearted will be one with the Lord.”


A popular singer in the community, Ellen Balmadrid led in the singing a cappela of Mr. Robredo’s favorite song, “Impossible Dream," after the group of sympathizers recited a brief prayer. # # #


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Last Updated on Friday, 31 August 2012 14:22

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