Philippine Political Scene: Death of an Interior and Local Government Secretary
Philippine Daily Inquirer - Opinion Column by Prof. Solita Monsod dated 25 August 2012
In the opinion column today, Get Real, by the highly esteemed professor, Prof. Solita Monsod from the University of the Philippines - she reiterated the need for a full blown investigation into the death of the late Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Jesse Robredo. So many people are either afraid or embarrass to verbalized the possibility of a foul play surrounding his death. But, this idea hovers around a few people who are in the know.
It cannot be denied that Secretary Robredo, in the performance of his duties in implementing the pro-poor agenda, might have stepped on some very powerful toes: wealthy landowners, drug syndicates and corrupt elements in the society that he was trying to weed out. In doing his job relentlessly, and pursuing the government's agenda on 'daang matuwid' (straight pathway), he might have made some very powerful enemies that would want him dead.
The glaring bias against the late secretary was shown, when he was not given the much deserved appointment as DILG Secretary for the past two years. The delay was undeserved, knowing that he had a track record of competence and integrity in governance. This startling bias against him, was markedly seen as compared to those whose nomination were hastily approved, without even an ounce of integrity and competence attached to their names.
Further testament to the late Secretary's imminent success in weeding out the corrupt elements in government, was the recent interview made to his wife, Atty. Leni Robredo. Her actions - while waiting for news about the whereabouts of the late secretary, belies her words that no complicity was involved. Her instructions at that time, was to secure the condominium and the office of her late husband - including all documents and appurtenances left on the site. She also requested that all documents be given to the Secretary of Justice, Leila de Lima at once. The possibility of foul play looms large that with Sec. Robredo out of the way, the vultures in government can continue to play.
State Funeral with Full Military Honors for the late DILG Secretary Robredo
An Ordinary Citizen's Take on the Matter
Prof. Solita Monsod, is a renowned economist and political observer whose opinion on all matters that pertains to the Philippine economy and politics is highly respected by all classes of people. She is known to make a fiery spiel and would not mince words in pointing out on what ails the country. Reading her commentaries are great wake-up calls for most Filipinos to do better and take action.
When I saw her article today, I was suddenly struck by the analysis that she made surrounding the death of the late Secretary. The idea of a possible foul play had haunted me since the time he went missing, a few days ago. Prior to the accident, there were rumors floating around Metro Manila that he might not be confirmed again, since he had powerful enemies in the political front. As DILG Secretary, there were insinuations that his pro-poor leanings equates to his being a communist.
These leanings were maliciously said to be tantamount to playing footsie with the left; and was said to hurt the chances of President Noynoy Aquino succeeding in his programs of government. It was said then, that these overtures alienated those of center and right of center members and supporters of the Liberal Party of which, Secretary Robredo was a political stalwart. Many envied the late Secretary's manner of governance, and it was an open secret that a number of political enemies were undermining his achievements as DILG Secretary, with countless wild rumors that were spread about his person. Insinuations were thrown in media that he was no longer in good terms with the President, and was already on his way out.
Those in the know however, had a vastly different take about the matter. It is simply hard to hide a man's character from his constituents. The Secretary was the real thing: no highfaluting talks, simplicity in demeanor, and a governance that tows along the straight and narrow path. There was no hint of any rumor about neither indecency nor wheeling-dealings in his negotiations as regards government projects. He was decency - personified. He was a man whose reputation precedes him. It was just too bad that the man was arrogantly snubbed by the powers that be, when twice they snubbed him, for conferment as Secretary of DILG.
His body is now interred in the Maharlika Hall of Malacanang Palace and was given honors befitting a head of state. Now they sing praises to him, on how good he was in the performance of his job. They say, that you can no longer praise a man, once he is gone. What is left is his legacy to a country that may be bereft of decent men and women, who can stand up to adversity despite all odds.
This is the man that they will bury. He will be given a state burial, and accolades will be bestowed on him. But, please - stop! He is no longer there. He has gone into the hearts of every Filipino, whose lives he has touched!
DILG Office, Philippines
Liberal Party Stalwart, Mar Roxas, as new DILG Chief
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), selected Liberal Party stalwart, Mar Roxas, as the new DILG Secretary to replace the late Jesse Robredo. He was tasked to continue with the party platform of good governance at the local level in order to support the policies of the national government.
Roxas supports the “Daang Matuwid” (Straight Path) agenda of the Aquino government, through continuous funding of various local government projects. However, he reiterates the national government’s initiative of putting a stop on any local government official who would be found guilty of enriching themselves at the expense of the Filipino people.
He expounds on local leaders to tow the straight and narrow path towards good governance. It is ironic that the Office of the Ombudsman has identified the Local Government Units (LGUs) as among one of the most corrupt agencies of the government, based on the number of cases filed against local legislators.
Nonetheless, the DILG noted that the number of cases has dropped considerably beginning 2011, and dropped further in 2012 when Roxas took over.
Current DILG Secretary, Mar Roxas
Comparison between Mar Roxas and the late Jesse Robredo
When Mar Roxas assumed the post of DILG Secretary, some pundits say that it was more of a challenge for him to accept the position than being comfortable with the job. His movements show that it was not his comfort zone. What then emerged was a Mar Roxas, without the precursor of wealth and well pressed suits, that normally face the public.
It is public knowledge that Roxas and the late Robredo were very close friends and allies. They can be themselves when together and horse around in undignified manners. Upon his appointment as DILG Secretary, he said that the slippers of his late friend, werehard to fill.
To date, he has followed the straight and narrow path of his predecessor. His success in the position will determine his faith when he runs for the highest position of the land come 2016.
On the Political Front
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, will be the Liberal Party Presidential bet for 2016, as relayed by Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya in the Senate Hearing most recently. He is apparently the only candidate being pushed by the party to run in the coming presidential elections. Party members are said to be in consensus on selecting the DILG Secretary, though the party has not yet gone through a selection process. Everybody awaits the continuing political saga till 2016.
Mar Roxas and the Late Jesse Robredo during Happier Times
© 2012 Consolacion Miravite