Sec. Robredo honored by C. Mindanao journalists PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:16

Journalists from across Central Mindanao prayed en masse for the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and flew dozens of illuminated Japanese lanterns Saturday night in Koronadal City to show appreciation of his accomplishments in furthering good governance in the region.

The symbolic event, participated in by local officials led by South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy, capped the two-day launching of the reformatted, lone “peace radio” here, the  dxOM station, owned by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate congregation.

Station dxOM, an FM outfit, is one five broadcast entities operated in different areas in Central Mindanao by the Oblates, which is actively involved for more than five decades now in a media ministry propagating Muslim-Christian co-existence.

Malu Cadeliña-Manar, a senior broadcast specialist of Catholic station dxND in Kidapawan City, said the chief executive officer of the Oblate-owned Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation (NDBC), Fr. Jonathan Domingo, appreciated Robredo’s contributions in helping push forward various programs meant to strengthen local government units in the South and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Saturday night’s simple necrological rite by journalists in Koronadal City was timed along with the NDBC’s launching of its reformatted dxOM station there, now named “Happy FM,” to depict an image of a “happy medium” of news information and entertainment for a peaceful Mindanao community.

Members of the Oblate Media, which is also operating since 1948 a weekly Catholic newspaper, the Mindanao Cross, recognizes Robredo’s having been so attached with LGUs in the South and his being supportive of President Aquino’s reform agenda meant to address corruption in the ARMM and fix the region’s dysfunctional political and administrative facets.

“He was most visible in Cotabato City and parts of Maguindanao when these two adjoining areas were struck by floods in 2011 after big rivers traversing villages there overflowed due to heavy rains,” Manar said.

Robredo was noticeably among the first to respond to the violent incursions early this month by the brigand Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in five Maguindanao towns, which dislocated more than 20,000 villagers, about half of them children, women, and elderly ethnic Maguindanaon natives.

Robredo virtually fascinated many members of Central Mindanao’s media community with his “show cause order” directing the mayors of Maguindanao towns the BIFF subjected to harassments to explain their “absence” from their respective municipalities when the bandits attacked.

Robredo’s move was unprecedented. It was never before done by any of his predecessors to mayors in Central Mindanao whose towns Moro rebels pestered during President Estrada’s all out war campaign against the group in 2000, and, subsequently, during the conflicts that rocked the region in 2008 and 2008.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told the “Aksyon ARMM” program of NDBC’s station dxMS in Cotabato City last weekend he will remember Robredo for “not  believing”  in what the governor branded as a “ extremely damaging” August 11 published report purporting he was funding the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement of the renegade jihadist Ameril Umra Kato.

Mangudadatu said the imputations against him were baseless and unfounded.

Mangudadatu said Robredo assured him that the Department of Interior and Local Government, as a government institution, does not believe he (Magudadatu) has links with either the BIFM, or its military arm, the BIFF.

Robredo also advised Mangudadatu to be prepared for more “political intrigues” that may come his way while he is to seek re-election, for a second term, as Maguindanao governor in next year’s local elections.

Mangudadatu said Robredo’s gesture and show of concern was enough “vote of confidence,” something he will keep as remembrance.

“I shall tell my children and grandchildren that may come, with Allah’s grace, about it,” Mangudadatu said.