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    Message at the Media Launch of Actitivies for the Commemoration of Sec. Jesse Robredo’s 7th Death Anniversary

    Media Launch of Activities for the Commemoration of Sec. Jesse Robredo’s 7th Death Anniversary

    Quezon City Reception House

    Magandang umaga! Maupo po tayong lahat.

    To the members of the board of JMRF (Jesse M. Robredo Foundation); YLGG (Young Leaders in Good Governance) fellows who are here this morning; iyong atin pong mga kaibigan; members of the media; Kap Mena [Filomena Cinco]; former secretary Dinky Soliman; sa inyong lahat, magandang, magandang umaga.

    Paghingi ko lang po ng paumanhin na late akong pumasok. Actually, matagal na ako sa labas pero may another meeting sa labas. Pero late talaga ako ngayon kasi masama iyong pakiramdam ko. We were in South Cotabato yesterday. Galing kami ng Lake Sebu, Polomolok, at saka—saan pa tayo pumunta?—sa Tampakan, nakalimutan ko. Tampakan. Medyo late na kami dumating, and Monday, we were also in Iloilo and Guimaras. Medyo nabugbog yata iyong katawan ko. Paggising ko ngayong umaga, masama iyong pakiramdam ko. But when I arrived, I attended the first meeting muna before coming over.

    Pero siguro, mas casual lang. Parang ninerbyos ako noong sinabi ni Harvey na keynote address. Kasi iyong keynote, parang napaka-formal.

    Pero ano lang, we’re celebrating the 7th death anniversary of Jesse on Sunday. Kapag iniisip, parang, seven years na pala. Parang kahapon lang siya nangyari, pero seven years na pala. Pero… when he passed away, one of the things that we were thinking was: “Papaano ba natin… papaano ba namin—kaming pamilya—papaano ba namin bubuhayin iyong alaala at saka legacy ni Jesse?” Most of you who are here, kilala siya na personal noong nabubuhay pa siya. At kaya iyong pagbuo ng JMRF, pagbuo ng mga maraming activities, talagang ito, kabuoan ng mga pamilya at saka ng mga kaibigan.

    Iyong sa amin lang, itong Gawad Jesse Robredo—Jesse M. Robredo—Gawad Jesse M. Robredo, we’re launching it… we’re doing it for the first time this year, pero it is something that we have been wanting to do ever since. Pero noong umpisa kasi, parang sobrang biglaan iyong pagkamatay ni Jesse na parang ang daming loose ends for us to do. Kaya ang nangyari, hindi namin siya nagawa kahit gusto naming gawin. Naunahan kami ng… naunahan kami ng napakaraming mga organization. There are actually many organizations who have been giving awards in the name of Jesse. And we thought of inviting some of them to join us para mayroong iisang Gawad Jesse Robredo.

    Pero ano ba iyong pinaka-obheto ng pagbigay ng award? Iyong pagbigay ng award, walang claim na siya iyong pinakamahusay. Walang claim na siya iyong pinakamatino. Ang sinasabi lang, marami namang mga mahuhusay, marami namang matitino, pero gusto lang namin i-introduce iyong brand of governance at saka brand of leadership na inumpisahan ni Jesse.

    Those of you who know him ang makakapagsabi na masyado siyang… masyado siyang… ano ito, hindi sumusunod sa agos. For many years—alam ito ng mga YLGG kasi kabahagi siya noong mga lessons na in-impart—for many years during his political career, nasa oposisyon si Jesse. Dahil nasa oposisyon siya, talagang maraming mga… maraming mga bagay na out of his reach. Alam niyo rin siguro na halos lahat ng eleksyon na hinarap noong asawa ko, may mga hinaharap siyang mga disqualification cases.

    So kaya ko siya sinasabi kasi iyong buong buhay niya, iyong buong political life niya, replete talaga with a lot of challenges. Pero si Jesse mismo iyong nagsasabi na, “Siguro kaya marami ako… kaya naging very innovative iyong klase ng leadership… siguro kaya naghanap ng maraming ibang klaseng pamumuno, dahil iyong tradisyunal, ang daming roadblocks para sa akin.” So siya, noong nabubuhay siya, wala siyang claim na, “Alam ko ito lahat.” Kasi iyong buong career niya naman, naghahanap siya ng better way of doing things.

    Naalala ko dati noong siguro midway, halfway noong kaniyang panunungkulan sa [Naga] city hall, noong ang dami nang awards na nakukuha ng city, ang dami nang recognition ng Naga, parati niyang sinasabi na ang objective na nating lahat is making the best, better. Iyong hindi huminto na humanap ng paraan para pagbutihin iyong mga bagay.

    Noong nag-mayor si Jesse, he was only 29 years old. So iyong hinarap niya na… iyong hinarap niyang sistema, iyong sistema na naglu-look down on young people. Kasi it was right after Martial—it was right after the EDSA Revolution na umupo siya. Parang hindi pa noon masyadong uso iyong… ngayon, marami nang bata, eh. Pero dati, parang kakaunti pa lang iyong mga bata na… iyong tingin ng mga sobrang tagal na sa pulitika sa mga bata, parang wala kang alam. So si Jesse when he started, he had to contend with a lot of… a lot of these challenges and roadblocks.

    Iyong mga programang nagawa niya sa Naga, hindi naman iyon dahil sa kaniya lang. It was actually a product of the collaboration of Jesse with many other people. Parati niya ring inuulit na iyong test of leadership, na kapag wala ka na, iyong mga inumpisahan mo magpatuloy pa. Na kapag wala ka na, iyong iiwan mo, mas magiging mahusay pa sa iyo. And I think, it is a vital ingredient of the essence of governance and leadership na pinaniwalaan ni Jesse. Iyong… iyong, he surrounded himself with very good people. He surrounded himself with people na nag-aral pang Mabuti, na towards the end of his mayorship in Naga, parati niyang sinasabi, “Iyong mga nakapaligid sa akin, mas mahuhusay na sa akin.” And I think, tayong mga nasa public service, parating inaalala iyon. Na hindi magiging—ano iyon—magiging makasarili about sa mga kaalaman. Hindi magiging makasarili about things.

    Noong mga—iyong punto na may mga programs nang nare-recognize, may mga programs nang nagiging very successful, Jesse really made it a point na ituro sa iba. In fact, gumawa siya ng Metro Naga Development Council, gumawa siya ng parang exchange program between local officials sa Bicol para magkaroon ng platform para mag-share ng mga best practices.

    Pero ito lang iyong pinaka-panaginip namin: na with what we are doing, highlighting…not Jesse as a politician, not Jesse as a leader, pero his successes in creating—siguro his successes in leadership, iyong paniniwala, iyong governance na puno ng transparency, accountability, people in power, empowerment, innovativeness—iyon iyong gusto nating i-highlight.

    Kaya sa YLGG, ang gusto natin ngayon parang mayroon tayong visible na programa ‘di ba, out of what we’ve learned. So gusto nating ipakita na… pa-minsan kasi parang kapag sinabing pulitika, ang sama-sama ng tingin ng ibang tao. Gusto nating ipakita sa kanila na iyong pulitika, hindi naman masama in itself. Ang pulitika, puwede mong gamitin para sa kabutihan. And iyong example ni Jesse, nagsasabi sa atin na it can happen, it can be done.

    So now, we want to: una, to discover many other young local officials who have been doing the same things or who have been doing even better. Pangalawa, to recognize them. Pangatlo, to use them as an example to inspire many other politicians, lalo na ngayon na ang dami nang mas bata na pumapasok. Na iyong mas batang pumapasok, paminsan… paminsan masyado tayong… masyado natin silang kinakahon. Halimbawa, galing sa ganitong pamilya, ganito na siya. Pero actually, we are not losing hope in them. Ang sinasabi natin kapag… parating fresh start. Parating binibigyan sila ng pagkakataon na maging mahusay, maging matino, maging maayos.

    So kaya tayo nagkakaroon ng media launch, essentially to open Gawad Jesse M. Robredo as a new program of the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation and to ask everyone to help us inform the local officials that there is such an award. Siguro iyong mechanics… ibibigay ba sa kanila iyong mechanics? We have some of the members of the board of judges who are here with us this morning. Hindi lang sila kumpleto. Siguro they were introduced earlier by Harvey [Keh] already. Hindi pa? Ay, i-introduce ni Harvey later. [laughter]

    Pero nagpapasalamat kami for everyone for coming over. We also invite you to participate in all the other events. Gaya nang sinabi kanina, YLGG Batch 3 started today in Naga. I will be going home on Saturday to catch the last day. Hahabol ako doon. Iyong mga anak ko and myself will be in Naga for the commemorative mass.

    Simple lang naman iyong mga okasyon in keeping with Jesse’s persona, ‘di ba. Natawa nga ako doon sa last picture. Sabi ko kay Aika, “Ano ba iyang shorts ni Papa mo. Bakit natin pinayagang isuot yan?” [laughter] Pero ganoon talaga… ganoon talaga si Jesse. Hindi kami puwedeng masyadong pagarbo kasi hindi na siya iyon.

    But to highlight lang all that he has done and all the lessons from his experiences as mayor, as DILG [Secretary], ito naman, iyong experiences niya as mayor sinubukan niyang umpisahan sa DILG. If you recall, doon niya inumpisahan iyong BUB, doon iyong pag-umpisa ng full disclosure, iyong transparency boards, iyong pag-umpisa ng Seal of Good Housekeeping na Seal of Good Local Governance na ngayon, iyon iyong pag-umpisa ng more representation in the… in the local special boards. Pero dalawang taon lang iyong nabigay sa kaniya. Hindi niya nagawa iyong lahat niyang gusto. So hopefully, through the JMRF, patuloy rin naming magagawa iyong mga puwede naming gawin to further his legacy.

    Kaya sa inyong lahat, maraming, maraming salamat. Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. [applause]

    Posted in Speeches on Aug 15, 2019