The Robredo and Marcos Parallels!


I was in grade school at the Naga Elementary School for two years,  took my secondary school at Camarines Sur National High School, college courses at Ateneo de Naga for one semester and three semesters at University of Nueva Caceres and finally finished my bachelor’s degree in Naga College in 1974.   While in college I write for the Bicol Mail,  one of the local weekly tabloids in the city.

Only a Nagueno can write about the Penafrancia Celebration. But this is not about myself.  This is about DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Back then, I only knew Mayor Vicente Sibulo of Naga City.  Mayor Carlos Del Castillo came much later. I  once interviewed Mayor Sibulo  about his quarrel with city councilor Reynaldo Borja, a lawyer-accountant over ordinances on taxation.  Councilor Borja was a paraplegic and he never ceased to go to court to attend to his clients despite his physical handicap  — ushered in the court room in a wheelchair  by his ‘alalay’ and argued his case with passion.  He drove a car with gear on the steering wheel and three steel levers hooked up to the clutch, brake and gas pedals which he can manipulate at the steering wheel.  He had ambition too of becoming a mayor, but it never came to be.

When martial law was declared in 1972, all newspaper outlets were closed, including the local tabloids until years later when some publications were able to secure permits from martial the law government to continue their publications. Bicol Mail did not ask to reopen during the martial law years.  During the first month of martial law, most  local newsmen were rounded up and detained at Camp Canuto in Pili.  I was one of those taken into custody. No charges were filed.  We were released from the stockade after more than a month in captivity.  We were not tortured though.

Nothing to do in Naga City after college, I went to Manila to take up law. Somehow, Councilor Borja, Attys. Vicente Bonot and Augusto Pardalis inspired me to study law.  They were the best lawyers in Naga City.  But later, I found out that Judge David C. Naval was a great judge and a Supreme Court Justice material.  Only that he did not have the right connection and he retired as a humble judge of the regional trial court of Naga City.

In 1972, Jesse Robredo must be  14 years old; may be a first year or second year high school, while I was already a third year college.  I have never met him nor heard of him at the time when  Naga was in turmoil; student activism was at its height and labor movement was on the rise.

It was much later that I have heard a lot about Mayor Robredo.  He has done a lot of good things in Naga City.  He put the city in the world map because during his 18-year tenure as a mayor, the city  received lots of international awards.  No other city executive have done that. Not even the dyed-in-the-wool politicians, of the province, the Villafuertes and the Rocos.

It was not an easy feat.  It was hard-work, dedication and honesty  — it was a “tsinelas” leadership that transformed Naga City from a third class to first class city.

For the past days, I was reluctant to join the chorus of people praising the departed Mayor for  his  exemplary  and splendid service rendered to Naga City  where I grew up and  as dedicated DILG secretary until his tragic plance crash on August 18 this year.  I don’t want to be seen as a bandwagon free rider like most politicians who dilly-dallied in the confirmation of Jess Robredo as DILG Secretary, only to announce that they were ready to confirm his appointment now that he is dead and after a massive public  outpouring of  sympathy for his excellent public service.

His uncle,  Luis  Villafuerte, a member of the powerful Commission on Appointment found it opportune to pussy-foot in confirming the appointment of Jess Robredo as  DILG Secretary, after all, the old politician proves to be a  formidable nemesis of Jess Robredo, the former  was relentless in his campaign to unseat   Robredo as a Mayor of Naga City for being a “chinese.”

Now that he is dead, the CA  indicates its willingness to proceed with the confirmation process.

Everyone wants to be seen as a ‘friend’ and a ‘sympathizer’ of this honest public servant.

But as his ashes had been interred,  and the bandwagon had slowed down, I thought I can say something now.

Somehow, the late Mr. Robredo took the same route Ferdinand Marcos did.  He cultivated the support of a kingmaker in Camarines Sur,  Luis R.  Villafuete, his uncle to become Mayor of Naga City in 1988 the way Mr. Marcos enlisted the support of the national kingmaker, the Lopez clan to become President in 1965.

Villafuerte and  the Lopezes thought that by investing in their wards, they can expect from them  the blind obedience of foot soldiers ready to fight their battle in the political trenches.  Both Villafuerte and the Lopezes were wrong. Marcos and Robredo went against their political patrons.

But the parallel ends there.

Marcos robbed his benefactor;  Robredo only refused to obey the biddings of his uncle whom he faulted for protecting illegal gambling in the province and in the city.  He wanted to rid the city of illegal gambling and prostitution and bring its finances in order;  Marcos promoted everything illegal and bled the national treasury dry.

The Marcos family would want a hero’s burial of their patriarch at the “Libingan ng Mga Bayani”,  the Robredo family refused one for Jesse.

Marcos was active in myth-building in his lifetime; Robredo does not  need one, but his constituents considered him a  myth and a legend — too good to be true  as leader and as a politician.  Marcos had embellished his chest  with medals of heroism, mostly fake and Robredo has one that is genuine.

One is well-loved, the other hated!

The nation, the Bicolanos most especially,  grieve over Jesse’s departure; but he can rest in peace now.  The good Lord must be upbeat,  welcoming one of His superstars!

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30 thoughts on “The Robredo and Marcos Parallels!

  1. Rest in peace, indeed. I rather think that Mr. Robredo will infuse a higher quality of thinking and being into Filipino governance for a long time.

  2. ngek kinomper nyo ke marcos. gunggong gumawa nito. Si marcos may bataan nuke at sta.barbara project na gagawa ng research ng missile defence attack . di lang tinuloy ng mawala sya. i search nyo project name sta.barbara project– kung natuloy lang missile ng pinas at nuke sa bataan may warhead na tayo ngayon at di binu bully ng china. Ano tayo ngayon. mga gunggong nag gawa nito

    • Read Closer Than Brothers by McCoy, Conjugal Dictatorship by Mijares, Marcos Dynasty by Seagrave, Marcos Diary by Rempel, Asian Loot by McDougald.. Please don’t clutter your mind with rubbish.

  3. hoy sino man gumawa nito isa kang bakla, di gaya ni makoy matapang puro kabaklaan, drama. kaya china kulang nalang tirahin tayo sa pwet mga bakla

    • read something not written by marcos himself to find the real marcos. it was imelda who cultivated china’s relations with mao tse tung. it was marcos who used chinese lucio tan. it was marcos who looted the treasury and deposited his loot to swiss and american banks. loot that could have been used to pay off our $25 billion debts.

  4. isa ka sa naghintay ng pinalabas ni howie severino sa mv karagatan? commies?– mga writer nino? mga bayaran ng kalaban ni marcos- ng mawala si marcos after people power, wala rin nagawa kinontrol din kayo ng mga kapitalista kaya tae rin pinaglaban nyo ngayon– epic fail, kagutuman din at kurapsyon mas lumala

  5. i don;t clutter with rubbish mind– totoo lang sinasabi ko, lahat naikot kayo ng mga kalaban ni marcos, hahaha after nyo mag people power tinugunan ba ng mga taong sinuportahan nyo kahilingan ng masa na pagbabago <— wala rin, pati militar natin nagmukang obsolete. swiss bank? swiss bank pinaghatian din ng mga nakakubra wahahahha aminin mo man o hindi naisahan kayo at patuloy kayong iniisahan – depende na lang kung may bayad ka, pati US Bases dito pinaalis nyo, Ano ngayon ginawa nyo di nyo pala kayang pumalag, puro kayo diplomatic protest. nakakaawa sampung diplomatic protest na wala rin! sinayang nyo kung may war head na tayo ngayon di tayo basta maapi, dahil matatakot sila basta bastahin tayo. tsk tsk

  6. after people power halos lahat ng importanteng government assest ginawang privatized, hahhaaha pati ospital at mrt lrt ngayon gusto na din ibenta,,hahahay aminin mo na kasi mas lumala ngayon. — alam mo ba balita ngayon, ang daming may sakit na dengue at Leptospirosis sa pilipinas. sanhi daw ng maduming lugar– kita mo na kulang na sa edukasyon at malinis na lipunan at pamayanan ang pilipinas, dahil kulang sa aral, tamang lugar ng bahay, nagsisiksikan kaya tapon na lang ng tapon. mas lumala brod– di ako maka marcos pero mas lumala pati military natin di kayang magtanggol ng pilipinas. <——– tsk tsk

  7. read something not written by marcos himself to find the real marcos. it was imelda who cultivated china’s relations with mao tse tung. it was marcos who used chinese lucio tan. it was marcos who looted the treasury and deposited his loot to swiss and american banks. loot that could have been used to pay off our $25 billion debts.——— dito rin ako natatawa lahat base lang sa mga writer, writer na may funding<—- funding para sa production ng libro? at kanino naman galing ang funding? alangan naman sa kaibigan ni marcos? hahahhaay ayoko na ng debate na badtrip lang ako sa pag kumpara kay marcos<——–26years na si marcos parin ang scapegoat hahahha vietnam inabutan na pinas galing civil war?! hahahha ayaw ko na magpost diko lang ma delete mga una ko post dahil talo ka na nagamit ka rin nang kalaban ni makoy! ayoko ng isa isahin mga na privatized na kung tawagin nila crown jewels government company during time ni marcos. ikaw na lang mag research tutal matalino ka naman,

  8. kung magkaka gyera laban sa china, dapat tawagin lahat nag people power edsa 1 at kayo lumaban tutal kayo naman nag alis kay marcos pero tinigil nyo din ang funding para sa military natin. Gusto nyo yan eh. kayo lumaban sa scarborough ngayon pati na rin sa sabah na nawala sa pinas. gusto nyo yan eh!!! hahahha

  9. syempre time ni marcos magkakautang ang pilipinas, ikaw ba naman MAYROONG MALULUPET NA PROJECT na bataan nuke, at military development at research, at kung anu ano pang mga project.. after ni marcos umuutang pero WALANG MALULUPET NA PROJECT, nabulok pa mga gamit ng sundalo. hahahha nawalan ng jet fighter? baril ng sundalo may scotchtape!! wahahahhaha

    • hay.. you don’t even know the real story behind the bataan nuclear power plant… i will post a separate article about it for your enlightment. read it tomorrow.. i have to get which book it was discussed. but the project was shelved because the cost was so staggering for reason that ‘hush’ money was paid by westinghouse to kokoy and marcos. and the project becomes diffcult to complete due to cost-overruns.

  10. at ikaw alam na alam mo, basta ako laki ng binabayaran ko mula ng magprivatized meralco at sabi nga sa gma news, ang ipp na kunwari nag tataas kaya mahal singil ay sila rin ang may ari.. puro ka libro gutom na ko, kainin kita wahahaha

  11. natatawa na lang ako sa mga hanggang ngayon galit na galit kay marcos pero di nyo kinaya pumalit sa kanya. di nyo nakontrol kaya eto pinas. — nagpapaka uto na lang sa salitang world class ang pinoy, proud to be pinoy. pero isla inaagaw walang magawa. hahahhaa puro diplomatic protest, lol!. kayo naman siguro nag edsa 1 bawiin mo mga pinaprivatized at plano pang i privatize na nababalita mas kahanga hanga at isa ako sa sasaludo sa iyo. ..babuzzzzzzz

  12. bataan nuclear power plant… i will post a separate article about it for your enlightment. i have to get which book it was discussed. <— libro na naman ng may funding . hahhaa naalala ko tuloy yun nabasa ko sa forum dati mga tao dati na inaapi daw ni marcos.. pero tignan mo nga sila ngayon hahaha ang yaman yaman yaman yaman yaman yaman na. api nuon nang makalaya namili ng namili ng government assest hahahaha diko na babanggitin sino sino alam mo naman yun. di nyo lang nakontrol———- ayaw ko na talaga. puro libro pero gutom na simpleng tao. hahaha aaaaaaaaayaaaaaaw ko na talaga

    • ang basehan ko iyong libro na may kaakibat na ‘legit sources” ikaw panay ngawa.. ano ba ang credentials mo para paniwalaan kita? typical pinoy ka hindi nagbabasa at ngawa lang ng ngawa. 🙂

  13. Pingback: A Marcos Loyalist Makes A Last Hurrah For Marcos! « Viewpoint Neutral

  14. hoy ikaw nga ang ngawa ng ngawa bakla!! sige nga gayahin mo mga activist ngayon sa china lumulusob sa disputed island sa japan at nakikipagbombahan ng tubig. pag nakapunta ka ng scarborough at nakapag lagay ng bandila natin dun mabibilib ako sayo. puro ka typical typical . puro satsat alang pruweba o resulta. Marami ka ngang ginawang libronababasa ba yan ng mga taong walang makain yan sa probinsya?mababayad ko ba yan sa bilihin at sa kuryente tae ka ikaw marami kang credentials pero wala ka. IKAW ANG TYPICAL DIN TALUNAN NA WALANG MASABI SA ISYU NG PRIVATIZATION AT CONTRACTUALIZATION LAW KAYA GINAWA MO PAPALABASIN NYO MANGMANG ANG TAONG BAYAN.. NAKAKAUSAP MO! DI MO KASI KAYANG AMININ NA NAGAMIT AT NAWALANG SAYSAY PINAGLABAN MO.. :O

  15. Myths about privatization
    By Rod Kapunan | Posted on September 01, 2012 | 12:01am | 149 views

    Many could not understand why privatization sought to impose a ban on government participation in business. What is wrong in the government participating in business? Maybe government entry could be assailed if its objective is to monopolize the production and distribution of goods or services understood as “nationalization”.

    On the contrary, for the State to participate is to put on track free enterprise. Capitalism, left alone, has never been a perfected economic system. It always ends up in monopoly by undercutting prices, dumping or even smuggling all designed to eliminate competition.

    Free enterprise is saddled with problems inherent in the system like the formation of oligopolies and cartels, price manipulation, dumping, hoarding, and all sorts of unfair business practices. Such practice invariably results in the harsh exploitation of the workers. Capitalists take them as their first victim, not their business rivals, to reduce production cost. Corollary to that is their tendency to evade or reduce payment of taxes.

    Such problems however cannot be resolved by nationalizing problematic industries. Leaders like the late President Marcos insisted that the government should instead participate in business like any private enterprise endeavoring to earn profit. State-owned enterprises could play the role to break the cartel that controls and dictates the price of goods, and prevent the entry of legitimate competitors through price rigging. In that instance, the government could level their price with the rest in the industry, deterred from resorting to hoarding to artificially create shortage.

    As a stepping stone to industrialization, SOEs, as base industries, are meant to generate capital. The accumulated capital, in turn, is used to finance the building of even more complex industries as what Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia did to achieve a respectable level of industrialization manufacturing high value products and promoting massive employment.

    In a “mixed economy”, profit is not really stifled but regulated by the natural operation of the market forces of which the SOEs play a vital role to reduce production cost. This explains why at the outset, the privatization of the strategic industries such as the importation, refining and distribution oil; water distribution; and the generation and distribution of electricity to reduce their prices was doomed to fail. If some managed to compete, it was an oligopoly competition than an honest-to-goodness one.

    In the end, the promise of bringing down the prices of goods and services became a myth only former President Ramos and his disciples continue to blindly believe. Artificial competition was carried out by a system of syndicated cartel amplified today by the unrestrained increase in the prices of fuel, water, electricity and its subsequent trading beyond one’s wildest imagination.

    Maybe tax collection increased because of the high cost paid, but that was not the result of increased sales. It was the result of a depreciated currency caused by inflation, increased operations cost, high salary for the new executives, and unrestricted profit that borders on greed.

    In fact, anybody who knows a little of economics and uses his common sense to apply the basic laws on commerce could readily tell that when the price of certain goods and services are deregulated, that amounts to an implied legalization of the cartel. This explains why some countries regulate, restrict and control the prices of goods manufactured and services undertaken by strategic and vital industries, or even forthrightly nationalize them.

    That became a necessity because there could only be one or few players by the nature of the industry. That effectively encouraged the uniform fixing of price among the players; to either increase after the unwanted competitors had been eliminated or to unduly bring down their prices, even at a loss, to ease them out of the market through cutthroat competition.

    True competition occurs only when there are many competitors impersonally interacting in the open market. In monopoly or oligopoly industries, the formation of cartel is bound to happen, and this explains why the buyers of those government-owned enterprises, as pre-condition for their purchase, sought to append a law on the privatization binge of the Ramos administration by seeking to deregulate the prices of their goods and services. The subsequent approval of that law made operational the mechanism of an airtight syndicated cartel, viz. with the government placed in a straightjacket.

    So, the hot air flaunted by the Ramos government turned out to be a foul smell. Some say it was criminal because the runaway prices offered by the privatized industries reflect more of price rigging. For instance, just before Marcos was removed from office, the price of unleaded gasoline was at P7 and diesel at P4 per liter. Today unleaded gasoline is at P55 and diesel at P45 per liter. During his time, per tank of LPG at 11 kilograms cost about P56. Today, per tank costs more than P800. Water, before it was privatized, was at P2.50 per cubic meter. Now it costs about P25 to P30 per cubic meter. Electricity cost ranged from 18 to 22 centavos per kilowatt. Now the average charge is at P13.37 per kilowatt hour.

    Many of our people suffered because privatization removed from them the remaining clutch that would secure their welfare. The whole concept of serving the people is now confined to just collecting taxes, which if one would take a second look is plain extortion because payment of taxes demands a corresponding public service. The government now demands a fee for every service it renders contrary to the classical theory that it is obligated to return what it collects by way of services like free hospitalization, education, low cost housing, etc. and subsidy in the cost, say of rice, water, oil and electricity.

    To relegate everything to the private sector is to make a mockery of free enterprise because without government participation, it is nothing more but economic anarchy.

  16. wala akong sinabi maniwala ka sa akin.!! natawa lang ako sa ginawa mo magkumpara kay sec.robredo. Ako may respeto kay sec robredo pero yun magkumpara ka kay makoy dun ako napapost dito.. TALO KA NA! Wag ka nang magtago sa palusot nyong dark ages during marshal law time<> eto ang sagot NEXT QUESTION PLS!! ANG SAMA SAMA TALAGA NI MARCOS! WAHAHHAHAHAHA TAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  17. iwas na iwas pag usapan ang naging resulta ng pagkakaalis ni marcos.. gumawa pa kayo ng 1987constitution na bawal magtayo ng negosyo foreigner whahahha para sino lang magtatayo dito? hmmmm sino nga kaya? hus kilala nyo yun sinu sino yun. denial talaga!!! wahahahhahah> pumunta ka sa scarborough at sabah (na nilalaban ni marcos ng gyera dati ngayon nawala na) at pakita mo tapang mo at yung credentials mo… ipagwagwagan mo duon at magtirik ka duon ng bandera ng pilipinas.. ilag lang baka ma sniper ka. !!! TALO!

  18. typical pinoy ako hindi nagbabasa at puro ngawa — ikaw naman basa ng basa pero ngawa lang din ng ngawa. pareho lang tayo ng resulta puro “NGAWA” lol!

    To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.
    –Confucius

  19. hehehee.. kaya pala naman… mga propaganda ni marcos iyong binabasa mo..

    si kapunan naman ay ram soldier na nanilbilhan kay marcos at inahas nila si marcos dahil sila ang gustong mamuno sa bayan sapamamagitan ng ‘military junta.’ kasama niya si enrile at honasan.

    i was trying to inform by bringing to the people matters they could not afford because these books are rare and out of circulation.

    do you know how much the book of primitivo mijares, conjugal dictatorship cost? between $80-$100. and do you know what happened to mijares and his 17 yeard old sun after the book hit off the streets? they were murdered.

    if you believe in marcos wallow in it..

  20. typical Marcos loyalist

    (insert profanity here) (insert kissing Marcos’ ass here) (insert profanity here directed at the commenters and writer) (treat Marcos as a GOD) (insert projects built by Marcos here with links from President Marcos’ fan page or the Marcos loyalist page) (insert another profanity directed at the writer here) (say something about yellow oligarchs, zombies etc etc eventhough I think most of them don’t know what an oligarch is) (insert latin word that they picked up here, even if they don’t know what it is even as absurd as Cogito Ergo Sum) (suck Bong Bong Marcos’ dick here) (lick Imelda’s ass) (kiss Marcos’ ass again and tell them he has the perfect erection) and (another mura here directed at us)

  21. I am still waiting to hear a proper rebuttal from a pro-Marcos that isn’t some crazy rant calling people who disagree with them bobo and bakla.

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