- Published on Thursday, 13 September 2012 00:00
- Written by ASHZEL HACHERO
By A Web design Company
HE was stingy, not only at home but also at work. Expensive food would not be delicious, and he’d rather eat in a carinderia.
This was how Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo described Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo who was given yesterday the Plaque of Distinction (posthumous) by the National Police Commission.
The widow, accompanied by youngest daughter Jillian, received the award from Napolcom vice chairman and Eduardo Escueta at the commission’s main office in Makati City.
“Siguro nakarating na po sa inyo na sobrang kuripot ng asawa ko. Totoo po yun,” she said in a speech, eliciting laughter from the employees.
She said her husband’s stinginess extended to his leadership, especially in the way he handled government money.
When it came to food, she said, the late Napolcom chairman had a “price-based palate.”
“Kapag mahal po yung pagkain, kahit masarap, hindi na po masarap sa kanya,” she said earning applause from the crowd. “Mas gusto niya kumain sa carinderia. Dito sa Maynila, ang gusto lang niya kainin ay barbecue, fried chicken at pancit canton, aside from daing and a local bread called putok.”
She said her husband would not have exchanged these foods with those served in five-star hotels.
According to Cristina Tan, an official at the Napolcom’s public information office, Robredo bought “putok” at a small bakery called Aristobak.
“Mga alas tres ng hapon bababa siya mula sa opis niya dito second floor at bibili ng tinapay. Kaya nga si manang, yung bantay dun, sabi kilala ko ang DILG secretary,” Tan said.
Tan also recalled that Robredo surprised Napolcom workers by showing up to work in a taxi, without bodyguards or any entourage.
Mrs. Robredo said her husband found the price of a haircut in Metro Manila shocking, compared to Naga City where he served as mayor for an unprecedented 18 years before his appointment to the DILG in July 2010.
“Sa Naga kasi P60 lang ang gupit niya. Dito, ang mahal daw kaya ako na lang ang pinagtitina (dye) ng buhok niya,” she added.
Mrs. Robredo also said her 12-year-old daughter took the bus to get to Manila.
Turning serious, Robredo expressed desire to see the continuation of her husband’s work.
“Kung may pinakamagandang parangal na pwedeng ibigay sa kanya ay yung pagpapatuloy ng kanyang trabaho at paniniwala. I think he is happy, he is at peace,” she said of her husband of 25 years.
Aside from the plaque, Mrs. Robredo was also given a signed letter of sympathy by the Napolcom technical committee.
Among high points in the ceremony was a seven-minute video tribute to Robredo’s life as a public servant and the performance of the Napolcom Chorale, which sang “Betcha by Golly Wow,” the Robredo couple’s favorite song, and “Simply Jessie.”