Work of VP’s late husband Jesse cited in book of Belgian economist

Published February 3, 2021, 9:52 AM

by Raymund Antonio

The late interior secretary and former Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo’s legacy continues to light the path for Vice President Leni Robredo, who, on Wednesday, shared how “Jesse’s legacy to us” helped her make decisions as the country’s second top official.


“When the plane crash happened and we lost Jesse, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love, admiration and grief. Because of the many lessons from his life and death, the question I constantly ask when I became a public official myself is, ‘How do I want to be remembered?’,” Robredo shared on her Facebook post.

The vice president’s reminiscing of her late husband’s work came after their youngest daughter Jillian, who is in New York for college, shared that her father’s work was mentioned in a book of Belgian economist Gerard Roland.

“This morning, when I woke up, I saw Jillian’s messages in our family thread. She is back in school thousands of miles away.
The text is too small but essentially it is about how Jesse proved that transparency and people participation in local governance eradicated corruption and mismanagement,” Robredo said.

“Again it reminded me this morning about Jesse’s legacy to us–a good name and the lesson that good governance and good politics are possible.”

The late former Naga City mayor, the first Filipino mayor to be honored with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, served for six terms in Naga City in Camarines Sur. He is credited for having turned the city around from its post-Martial Law era state. After eradicating patronage politics and implementing civic participation in Naga City, he was appointed to the Cabinet of former president Benigno Aquino III.

In the Vice President’s family thread, Jillian mentioned that her “papa” was mentioned in her development economics book.

The book called Naga City “a success story in urban development” after Mayor Robredo cracked down on illegal gambling, strip clubs, and prostitution. It mentioned that his “most critical reform was to bring more transparency and citizen participation to city governance.”

It gave as an example his decision to let his constituents voice out opinions and monitor decision-making processes, an “innovation” that improved municipal services.

Soon, Naga City became “a model of participatory governance, winning many awards worldwide.”