By: Tara Yap
ILONGGOS have joined the nation in prayer for Sec. Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Please let us storm heaven with prayers that the good and merciful Lord will save him and his companions,” appealed Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in social networking site Facebook.
Robredo and two others are still missing after the private plane he was riding crashed off the coast of Masbate around 4:30PM of August 18.
“Sec. Robredo was my professor in my Masters in Public Management Program at Ateneo de Manila University. He is a mentor and a good friend,” Mabilog added.
Dr. Raul Banias, Iloilo provincial administrator, recalls talking to Robredo Friday afternoon.
“Sec. Jess is a good friend and a mentor. I can still vividly recall his voice in our phone conversation late afternoon yesterday,” Banias said on his Facebook page.
“Let us keep on praying that he will be found alive. Miracles do happen,” said former San Joaquin Mayor Daisy Sibya.
Meanwhile, a former Philippine Coast Guard (PCG-Iloilo) commander has expressed realistic assessment on Robredo and his companions.
“As a former Coast Guard officer with extensive experience in search and rescue operations, I am of the opinion that the well-respected DILG Secretary Robredo, if not earlier rescued by fishermen at the crash site, has probably preceded us to the afterlife,” said Harold Jarder.
“Hope springs eternal, of course, but experience tells me otherwise. No offense meant to the distressed family,” Jarder added.
Robredo, the former mayor of Naga City, was in Iloilo City last April 26 during the regional forum on climate change adaptation and disaster reduction.