• Camarines Sur Leni Robredo admitted she tried to convince her late husband to resign from DILG
• President Aquino is rumored to be dissatisfied with Jesse’s performance and had transferred control of PNP to Undersecretary Rico Puno
• Nevertheless, Jesse hang on to the post, hoping to still make a difference despite his limited power
MANILA, Philippines – After Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash in August 2012, President Aquino had only nice words for the late Interior Secretary, describing him as an exemplary politician – the epitome of a true, selfless public servant.
But apparently, the relationship between PNoy and Jesse had not always been smooth-sailing despite the recognition the latter enjoyed following his death.
In an interview with Inquirer’s DJ Yap Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, the administration’s vice presidential bet, recalled how she often came close to asking her late husband to resign from the DILG post.
“I’m willing to admit there were many times during Jesse’s incumbency that I told him ‘just let go already,’” Rodredo said.
A few days before the crash that claimed Jesse’s life, Leni said she had a conversation with her late husband about the struggles he had been facing in his department.
“That was the Sunday before the plane crash,” Leni recalled. “I was driving him to the airport, and he said, ‘hindi ko alam kung may patutunguhan pa ba ito’” [I’m not sure if this is still heading anywhere].
Aquino dissatisfied with Jesse’s performance
Leni said President Aquino is rumored to be not very pleased with Jesse’s performance at the DILG then and some administration allies wanted him sacked and replaced.
This got even worse after the 2010 Luneta Park botched hostage crisis where Jesse had to take most of the blame. It turned out, he was stripped of control over the Philippine National Police (PNP), which was then handed to Undersecretary Rico Puno, a close friend of Aquino.
Puno is the same man accused of trying to raid Jesse’s apartment where the late Interior secretary was supposedly hiding confidential documents shortly after the latter’s death. A month later, it was revealed that Jesse had initiated a probe into a P600-M deal that involved procurement of PNP ammunitions.
The proponent of the deal was no less than Puno himself, having been tasked to oversee the PNP. The investigation actually began months before Robredo died in the crash. (Click here to read more)