NAGA CITY – Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Friday visited the grave of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and paid tribute to the latter’s legacy in promoting transparency and good governance.
Pangilinan is currently in Naga City for a series of dialogues with farmers, volunteers, and leaders of various sectors in the region.
During the visit, the senator laid a wreath at the tombstone of the late iconic Bicolano leader. He was accompanied by long-time Robredo ally, Rep. Gabriel Bordado (Cam. Sur, 3rd Dist.).
Pangilinan spoke highly of the friendship he developed with the late Robredo who served for six terms as mayor of Naga.
“Bago ako naging Sharonian, una ako naging Jessenian (Before I became a Sharon Cuneta fan, I was first a Jesse fan),” he said.
Pangilinan is the running mate of Robredo’s widow, Vice President Leni Robredo.
As a former mayor, he said, Robredo was able to transform Naga into a vibrant city, eventually earning him domestic and international recognitions, including the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award for effective governance in the year 2000.
“Mula noon nababalitaan na namin yung mga milagrong hatid ng kanyang pamumuno dito sa Naga, kung paano niya ginawa ang mga reporma kasangga ang mga kababayan natin (Since then, we’ve been hearing a lot about the miracles that happened under his leadership here in Naga, how he made the reforms with the help of his constituents),” Pangilinan said.
The late Naga executive and DILG chief also became known for his so-called “tsinelas” (flip-flops) leadership, referring to his highly successful rural grassroots and poverty alleviation program. He died in an airplane crash on August 18, 2012.