MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/28 August) Today we buried Jesse M. Robredo, a public servant.

We thought we have lost him. Actually, we found him.

Sec. Robredo had to LOSE his life first before others FOUND him to be fitting as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

This was based on the comments and critiques expressed over television programs, newspapers and radio broadcasts.

He died in a plane crash on August 18. His death has since dominated the headlines even up to now. His body was recovered on August 21, three days after search and rescue operations were initiated by professional divers.

In between those days when the bodies were not yet recovered, anxiety of the family of the secretary and that of the plane’s crew members have surged.

While the rescue operations were going on, several groups, individuals and institutions have been expressing opinions and comments about the secretary.

Most of them were very positive. Some expressed the great loss in the department where he belonged.  Others talked about the good things that Sec. Robredo has done as the mayor of Naga City and the innovative programs and strategies he implemented in DILG that called for aggressive yet collaborative action.

The varying positive comments and admirations from different sectors of society showed that with the secretary’s instant death, he has been FOUND by everyone.  When he LOST his life – a short but fully lived one — he was finally FOUND.

Sec.  Robredo was found to be the man that this country needs.  He was found to be down-to-earth.  He mingled with ordinary TAO.

He was NOT found using his authority in the office to enrich himself at the expense of his poor constituents.

The Secretary was also found not confirmed of his appointment as secretary by the Committee on Appointments.

It was only when Sec. Robredo LOST his life that his worth as efficient and sincere public servant is FOUND in DILG and in the whole bureaucracy.

While the country mourns over the loss of a good public servant, we found ourselves hoping that a replacement is possible.  We believe that there are still many good Filipinos around whose mission for the Philippine governance is attained with integrity and performance.

Let us make Sec Robredo’s vision be our inspiration; founded on a strong faith in God, family solidarity, and simplicity of lifestyle.

(BUKIDNON VIEWS is the opinion section of Bukidnon News. Pace of Peace is Dr. Lourdes G. dela Torre’s column. She is a research consultant in Anthropology, Peace Studies, Gender and Teacher education and other related fields. She has also published books such as Peace Education and Field Study: Bridging Classroom with Field Experiences.)