Celso hails appointment of Roxas as new DILG chief PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 02 September 2012 14:27

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday welcomed the appointment of Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas as the new Department of Interior and Local Government chief, replacing the late Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash two weeks ago.

Lobregat said Roxas’ “impeccable record and experience as three-term congressman and majority floor leader, DTI secretary, Senator and DOTC Secretary make him the natural and best choice for DILG Secretary”.

“Congratulations to Secretary Mar Roxas and thank you to President Noy”, the mayor said after the president officially announced Roxas’ appointment in a briefing at the president’s hall past 1pm yesterday.

The president likewise announced the appointment of Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya to DOTC portfolio that will be vacated by Roxas.

Roxas’ appointment came 14 days after Robredo perished along with two pilots of the Piper Seneca plane that plunged into the waters off Masbate August 18. Robredo’s lifeless body was found in the plane’s wreckage 180 feet deep and 800 meters from the shore.  Roxas was the focal person during the search and rescue and finally retrieval operations for Robredo in Naga City.

Robredo’s tragic death shocked and saddened many people from all over including Zamboanga City, where he was a frequent visitor for various engagements. He was accorded a state funeral before he was cremated last Tuesday, August 28.

Mayor Lobregat was one of those affected and stressed that “we have lost a good and decent man, a good friend of Zamboanga City”.

With Roxas’ appointment, Mayor Lobregat said: “I believe Secretary Jesse Robredo will be able to rest in peace”.

Roxas, 55, is an economics graduate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He was an investment banker in a New York-based firm before joining politics in 1993, when he was elected congressman of the 1st district of Capiz. He served as majority leader at the House of Representatives until 2000 afterwhich he headed the Department of Trade and Industry until 2003.

Roxas was elected senator in 2004 with nearly 20 million votes, supposedly the highest for any senator in Philippine history, the records also show. In 2007 he was appointed by officials of the Liberal Party national executive council as party president. He was groomed to run for president in the 2010 polls but later decided to run Aquino’s vice president and was defeated.

He was appointed by President Aquino as secretary of the DOTC on June 7, 2011 replacing Jose de Jesus, after the one-year constitutional ban on the appointment of defeated candidates lapsed. — Sheila Covarrubias