When A Good Leader Suddenly Dies...
Ever since the news of the crash of the airplane carrying DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo just off the shores of Masbate flashed on TV, a lot of mixed feelings arose in me. I do not know the man, nor am I familiar with what he has accomplished, but somehow his death became a personal loss. More so when all the stories about his exemplary life as a public servant started to be told. This country and people need men like Secretary Robredo to bring us out of the rut that we are in. And what made this so sad was the fact that just as the light at the end of the tunnel seems to grow brighter for the Philippines, one candle was abruptly snuffed out, thus dimming the way once more. I think I am really grieving for this country's loss.
This is not the first time that tragedy and death befell good leaders of this country. In the last century, there was Ramon Magsaysay, a beloved Philippine president whose death was also caused by a plane crash, where there was also one survivor, and Ninoy Aquino, who was killed by a single bullet to the head as he went down the plane, the soldiers escorting him shooting his so-called assassin dead. And now, the outpouring of grief for the death of Jesse Robredo which probably even his family did not expect.
Not in vain
Their deaths though tragic and untimely should never be in vain. These men lived their lives in unselfish service. Pres. Magsaysay was a well-loved leader because he made himself accessible to the masses. Ninoy made the supreme sacrifice for love of country and people, and whose death served as a catalyst for the beginning of the end of the Marcos dictatorship. For more than 18 years, the people of Naga City and for the last two years, the men, women and stakeholders of the DILG, have experienced Sec. Robredo's exemplar life of commitment, servant leadership and good governance that changed forever their standards of what public service should be.
But sometimes, I wonder especially when politics in this country has not changed much for the last 100 years, if Ninoy would still say his famous statement "The Filipino is worth dying for" if he had the chance to live his life all over again. To be fair, it is not just the politicians' fault. The Filipino people are as much as fault for choosing the wrong persons to vote into office.
Next year, 2013 will be election year, I fervently pray that when election day comes, the voting public remembers the kind leaders that Magsaysay, Ninoy, and Robredo were. Our beloved country need leaders with the high moral values and ideals of Robredo, the charisma and understanding of Magsaysay and the courage and sacrifice of Ninoy. If we can do this...then the we can look forward to a better Philippines for ourselves and our children. The future is in our hands!