Filipinos, especially the residents of Naga City, will be commemorating the fifth death anniversary of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo this August 18. The day is a special non-working holiday in Naga City according to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 274 (read the full text here).
This holiday will give the people of Naga City a rare four-day weekend because August 18 falls on a Friday while August 21, Monday, is also a holiday in observance of Ninoy Aquino Day. Relatedly, August 18 of every year is a working holday elsewhere in the country courtesy of Republic Act 10669, which then-President Benigno Aquino III signed in 2015.
Robredo served as Mayor of Naga City from 1988 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2010. His effective management of the city earned for him citations from foreign publications as well as the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Servicein the year 2000.
Barred from seeking reelection after serving three consecutive terms as Naga City Mayor, then-President Benigno Aquino III appointed Robredo to lead the Department of Interior and Local Government. However, for some mind-boggling reason, Robredo was never confirmed to his post by the Commission on Appointments.
Adding insult to injury, he never enjoyed the same powers that previous DILG Secretaries yielded no thanks to Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, a close friend of Aquino with whom he entrusted control of the Philippine National Police.
These indignities were quickly swept under the rug after Robredo’s death following a chopper crash in August 2012. The posthumous veneration for the late Interior Secretary served as a springboard for his widow, Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo, to enter politics.
Mrs. Robredo was elected congresswoman for the 3rd district of Camarines Norte in 2013 and just three years later, she narrowly defeated Senator Bongbong Marcos to become the nation’s Vice President.