Several weeks have passed since DILG secretary Jesse Robredo left this good earth. As much as possible I do not want to post any articles pertaining to politics or a political figure. But Mr. Jesse “Pogi” Robredo is an exception. Honestly, I do not know the man personally nor have I come across any of his achievements. He never touched my life, never gave me any advice, I only knew him by face and by name as the DILG secretary, period. So why make him an exception?
After his untimely death in a plane crash, all of a sudden, everybody knew what kind of a man he was and what he has done for our government. Both the Internet and the Social Media provides an in-depth look at how this man lived and served our country. Beloved by many, hailed by the media as an icon of good governance and an ideal family man, the perfect public servant. One who does not grandstand and brag about his accomplishments, one who does not expect any recognition or favors in return for his work, one who exemplifies humility and simplicity.
(A politician who rides the bus going home to the province? No wonder that almost every Filipino now wants to be like Jesse…including me.)
But this doesn’t mean that I want to go into politics. Despite my family on my father’s side having served the Filipinos in our province for more than 40 years now, I’m probably just not born for it. With the Robredo Effect, this tells me that I must simply do more selfless acts as a citizen, a husband, a father, and as a man for others.
Now I am pretty sure we have met several other “Robredos” in our lives, most likely in our office, where we do business with our leaders. You know at the onset if that individual has great work ethics if you tend to emulate his/her leadership characteristics. But with the passing of Mr. Robredo, I somehow push myself to the next level in terms of maintaining the highest integrity, taking full accountability for my actions, having the eagerness to get things done right away, and most importantly, making sure that I devote the rest of my free time with my family.
Easier said than done, especially to our politicians. Each and every one of them is now being compared to Mr. Robredo, since he is now the benchmark of an honest and true public servant. Yes, you may have committed and broadcasted that we shall continue Mr. Robredo’s legacy, and that we will instill in ourselves the values in which Mr. Robredo has practiced in providing good governance…so he’s been there, he’s done that, now can you really act on it?
And it’s not just a matter of kicking off or starting off something, there really has to be sustainability. You can’t just grace the opening and cut the ceremonial ribbon. This is a typical “Ningas Kugon” mentality. And one good deed is not enough, you’re simply a one-hit wonder, but who’s counting anyway; or probably you’re the type who is too proud that you even paid a newspaper to publish all your achievements. This is not like a video game that you get a trophy or level up for reaching a certain number of points.
The sense of fulfillment is the prize; not the recognition, not the awards. This may be the key as to why Mr. Robredo did so well, because he was never disappointed if he was not recognized, was never de-motivated for not receiving a token, he knew what had to be done, and this was his drive, and he did it for the people.
The Robredo Effect wants to mold us into better leaders at the same time better servants. To be an example of how we can make a difference and properly serve those who rely on us.
It’s really sad that a good man like "Pogi" left this mortal life so soon. I guess good guys don’t finish last after all…because he is way ahead of us in the heavens and is now enjoying his immortality.
“The most important ingredient of leadership is character. Most of the proficiencies can be learned, but what's inside you is something that's difficult to change” – Jesse Robredo