Of the many good things people are starting to reveal about Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, his helping out Senator Panfilo Lacson during the legislator's days in hiding might be the biggest surprise of them all.
Lacson revealed yesterday that Robredo had been "quietly helping" him find a way to resurface without having to be put behind bars in connection with the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
"I will always remember and be thankful to Secretary Jesse Robredo for personally albeit quietly helping me during my difficult time while in hiding," Lacson said in a text message to the Manila Bulletin.
He recalled how Robredo tried to convince Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima to heed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA), which junked the warrant of arrest for the senator issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC).
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), operating under the DOJ, was then tasked to hunt and arrest Lacson.
"Not known to all, he (Robredo) tried his level best to convince DOJ Sec. (De) Lima to comply with the CA decision reversing the Manila RTC's probable cause ruling against me," said Lacson.
Apart from being a loyal ally of President Aquino, Robredo was considered by Lacson as a true friend.
"He was so real and natural as a person in dealing with people, close friends or not," said the senator.
Robredo's party mates in the Liberal Party (LP) also did not mince words in giving praise to Robredo.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III said he grieves over the death of the Secretary, describing him as a "selfless public servant" and fellow "Kaya Natin" champion.
"He left the comforts of his home in Naga City to serve his beloved country and died (on his) way back home. May his soul rest in peace forever and may his uncorrupted public service serve as a beacon to generations of Filipinos to come," said Guingona.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, for his part, said Filipinos "have just lost a man who had manifested genuine sincerity to serve his country."
"Truly, he was one of a kind public servant. I was honored to have worked with Secretary Jesse on various projects to advance developments in the LGUs," Drilon said.
"Also, I salute Secretary Jesse for sharing vision with us and for helping us in crafting sound policies in the Liberal Party where he belonged," he said.
Sen. Francis Escudero said Robredo's passing is a tremendous loss for the entire nation.