Making the nation 'Robredo-esque'
The best way for the President to honor his fallen Cabinet Secretary is to ensure that the policies that ensure transparency, accountability, and popular participation which he initiated (such as the "Full Disclosure Policy" for local governments) are sustained and furthered on a national level.
One simple way to do that is by expressly endorsing as urgent the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill pending in Congress and perhaps going beyond that--by endorsing a "counter-culture" for government, where things actually get done, policies are clear, transactions are transparent, officials are accountable and information is accessible, if not in statute then in the way that government is run.
Certainly, the best way for Congress to truly honor the late Secretary is not the demeaning (to Jesse), utterly silly and self-aggrandizing proposal for its Commission on Appointments to "posthumously confirm" (sic) his appointment as Secretary but for both houses of Congress to pass the bill, as endorsed, into law without further delay.
While the proposals to name any FOI Act after the late secretary would likely meet little or no objection from those who have been actively pushing for it, the naming matters little if the substance of the statute fails to live up to the name.
Naming the law after him would be meaningless if it fails to give meaning to the freedom guaranteed under the Constitution and the spirit of transparency, accountability and change that the late Jesse Robredo had dreamed of and actually put into practice.
Calling any FOI Act the "Robredo Law" would mean nothing if the country were not thereafter made "Robredo-esque", i.e., putting in place on a national level, across all branches of government, clear-cut policies for oversight, transparency, accountability and change in governance - regardless of who the current leader is.
Making the country "Robredo-esque" in the wake of our being "Robredo-less" means that government has to be creative and passionate at looking for solutions and not just be weighed down by the inertia of tradition; it also means that government has to not only trust the people but also to truly listen to and value the people as the engine of social transformation and genuine change. It finally means that, as much as the people desire to have access to government, government must desire to have access to the people - the way that the late Secretary clearly desired and enjoyed access to the city of Naga and its people he loved passionately; government must overcome its distrust of the wide spectrum of views from the people that may often be characterized as "unsolicited advice" and learn how to harness these ideas and views (some positive, often negative, many different but also creative; but all of them impassioned) and use these as bases for governance.
Making the country "Robredo-esque" also means that the people must continue to make sure government works--to hold it accountable; to put forward solutions and ideas; to share in the work that needs to be done by giving of time, talent and treasure; to withhold criticism, if necessary; to give praise when it is due.
In an interview I read, the late Robredo refused to take credit for all the accolades he had received for himself, pointing instead to the city and the people he loved and served. By showing to the people he worked with their capacity to transform, to create change and become better, he showed exactly what that all-too-famous phrase uttered by a young American president in 1961 meant--to ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.
Our mourning will turn into dancing (Ps. 30:11) and our sadness to joy when the life that was taken from us all too soon were to be seen once again in the life of the nation that he clearly loved and tried hard to serve--in inspiration, in action, in thought, in spirit, in heart and soul. - GMA News