MANILA, Philippines—The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, a multi-awarded government official and widely regarded as a rare breed of honest and trustworthy public servant, was also just “a regular husband, a regular father” who also had to do household chores.
Leni Robredo, Jesse’s wife, told reporters in a televised press briefing that her husband was neither a cabinet secretary nor a former mayor when he was in their house. “He is just a regular husband, a regular father” when he is at home.
Robredo was the one the family turned to when their house needed fixing whether it was the plumbing, burned-out lightbulbs, broken telephones, etc, Leni said. All the things that needed fixing would be waiting for Robredo to come home every weekend, she added.
“Everytime he comes home he wants to feel like a regular dad, a regular husband,” she said. Just last weekend Robredo fixed their doorbell which was broken, she added.
During power outages, they would simply text Robredo and he would call in five minutes to check on them and to give them updates about it. When they lose their internet connection at home, he would call for a maintenance team to check on them and fix the problem, Leni said.
“He has very simple very ordinary interests. His attire during the weekend when he is in Naga is a t-shirt, shorts, and slippers,” Leni said.
She added that Robredo “goes biking in the morning and in the afternoon, without security or anyhthing.”
“I think that is his happiness. His work in Manila is just work for him, his personal life is here,” Leni said.
Robredo just remained a simple man and she said that he didnt want to get used to the perks of the office because he might keep looking for it when its gone.
“I think the reason why he wants to go home [to Naga City] every weekend was because that is who he is,” Leni said.
Robredo was once asked why he was always in a hurry to go home Leni said. Robredo replied: “If I dont go home I will go crazy in Manila.”