Atty. Leni Robredo, wife of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, receives from President Benigno Aquino III the Philippine Legion of Honor award with the rank of Chief Commander conferred posthumously on her husband during the state funeral rites at Basilica Minore de Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia in Naga City on Aug. 28.  (PNA photo by Roland Nablo)

MANILA — President Benigno Aquino III conferred the Legion of Honor with the highest rank of chief commander on the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

The award was given to Robredo “for being an exemplar of principled, committed leadership, regardless of personal cost or danger, thereby making him a man of outstanding life achievement deserving of the highest recognition,” according to the citation read by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

“For being an advocate, as mayor of Naga City from 1988 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2010, and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, of true and transformative change, which led to a revitalized city and a vibrant culture of transparency, accountability and people empowerment,” the citation said.

Robredo was the 11th Legion of Honor with the rank of chief commander recipient since its creation under Army Circular 60 on July 3, 1947.

It is the highest award conferred on a Filipino or foreign citizen by the President without the need for approval by Congress.

Robredo’s widow Leni received the award after the concelebrated Mass at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City last Tuesday morning.

“For being a mentor to public servants who are likewise supportive of change; for choosing to tread the straight and righteous path even at the risk of political persecution, instead of taking the easy and crooked road of the unprincipled,” the citation said.

“For institutionalizing a virtuous cycle in the Department of the Interior and Local Government by establishing a full disclosure policy and seal of good housekeeping in local governments; for being a leader who set aside the ostentations of power, choosing the simplicity and honesty of a genuine servant leadership,” the citation stated.

“For his dedication to public service, which earned him the respect and acclaim of his peers and the public, as manifested in the countless accolades he received, such as the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, the Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence as Most Outstanding City Mayor of the Philippines in 1998, the first ever Dangal ng Bayan Award of the Civil Service Commission, and inclusion in the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), among many other awards,” the citation also said.

Robredo’s widow, in receiving the award, said “it recognized my husband’s achievements in public service, an affirmation of his life and work. I am honored, our entire family is honored.”

“If Jess were here with us today, I know he would shy away from excessive praise. He might find all the fuss, pomp and pageantry a little uncomfortable. But Jess, just this one time. Allow us to celebrate your life in the way we think you deserve to be honored,” she said.

Leni thanked the President for the award and for all that he had done since learning about the plane crash that killed her husband.

She said Robredo would be “deeply touched.”

“If we could hear Jess speak, I know he would be saying, this is too much,” she said.

“We have felt your care and commitment to Jess in the very personal way that you have insured that my children and I can grieve and not worry about anything. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” she said to the President.

Add comment

Security code

Latest comments