NAGA CITY: President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday heaped praises on Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo in a forum to mark the third death anniversary of her husband, good governance icon Jesse Robredo.
Aquino, with some members of his Cabinet, flew to Naga City to visit Robredo’s tomb at the Eternal Gardens, where he laid a wreath. He then motored to Naga City Hall to grace a forum in honor of his Interior secretary who was killed in a plane crash off Masbate island in 2012.
“Kung nasaan man si Jesse ngayon, siguradong masaya siyang makita na ang kanyang asawang isa sa mga pinakamaasahang tao sa Kongreso [Wherever Jesse is now, I’m sure he’s happy to see his wife become one of more reliable members of Congress],” he said
The congresswoman is being pushed to team up with Liberal Party standard- bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd, her husband’s successor at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in next year’s elections.
A movement was launched last week to drum up support to convince her to agree to get drafted as the LP vice presidential candidate should pre-election survey leader Sen. Grace Poe decline the administration party’s offer to join its slate.
The President also paid tribute to the late DILG chief.
“He goes to where he’s needed. Even when there’s a storm, even if it’s flooded, he’ll put on his flip-flops and go to people affected by disasters,” Aquino said in Filipino.
“Jesse,thank you for your legacy and remarkable reform implemented in the government. It’s a coincidence that my father was killed the same day when Jesse’s body is found. They both proved that the Filipino is worth dying for in a different way,” the President added.
Aquino admitted that the month of August, also known as the “ghost month,” weighs heavily on him as he narrated a series of unfortunate events that befell his family in the past.
“If August is really considered a ‘Ghost Month,’ our family really feels this,” he said in Filipino.
The President then cited the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing where grenades were lobbed on a stage during the miting de avance of the Liberal Party. His father, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., who was not yet around when the incident happened, was believed to be the target of the attack.
“The Plaza Miranda bombing happened on August 21 and it almost wiped out the LP. One of those hurt was Tita Judy, the mother of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. A few years later, my grandfather Jose Cojuangco Sr. also died on August 21,” he said.
It was also August 21 when Ninoy Aquino was felled by an assassin’s bullet.
The President further mentioned that it was also in August when he got hit by rebel fire when rightists led by then cashiered Col. Gregorio Honasan attacked his convoy in the early hours of the 1987 coup attempt against his mother, President Corazon Aquino, who died August 1, 2009.
Last Monday, August 17, his uncle, former senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino, succumbed to multiple organ failure.