During the Concelebrated Requiem Mass at the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia in Naga City held after the conferment of the Philippine Legion of Honor award upon the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo on August 28, Leni Robredo, Jesse's wife, said that he will forever be remembered by her and their children first and foremost as “an exceptional husband and father.”

“When the body bag carrying his remains was opened before my eyes, I was not at all surprised to see that he was wearing his DILG uniform... That was Jess to the very core. He was always working so hard but at the same time always rushing home to be with his family,” she said in her eulogy.

According to Leni, Jesse was a doting father who always had time for their children despite the grueling demands of his job. “He would drop everything for our girls. He wasn’t there just for the big events but also for the small ones. He would badger many people, Secretary Mar [Roxas] included, just to ask for UAAP tickets for Aika, who almost never misses an Ateneo basketball game. Whenever Tricia had an upcoming exam, he would text me, “Ma, please go to the blessed sacrament, Trish has exams today.” He tutors Jillian in math by telephone, and he would even do sample math problems for her to solve while attending important meetings. He was never too busy for all of us.”

“Much has been said about how great Jess was as a public servant. But to us, his family, we will remember him most as an exceptional husband and father,” she remarked. “He died with nothing left unsaid. He constantly showered us with “I love you’s.” He always told me he was lucky that he married me. He constantly told my children he was proud of them.”

“Jess, thank you for the gift of your life,” she concluded tearfully. “How lucky we are that you shared your life with us. We are truly blessed to have been loved by you. As my daughter said you may have been prepared to die, but we were not prepared to lose you. We are devastated by your loss, but even if we are grieving we will continue to live because your spirit lives in us. I will make sure that your dreams for our children will be fulfilled. I will not say goodbye because I know that you will never leave us, and will always be in our midst. You are home now. You are back where you truly belong. Rest well. We will love you forever.”

(Screencap via YouTube)

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