Jesse Robredo named DILG chief

Posted at 07/09/2010 4:52 PM | Updated as of 07/09/2010 5:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Former Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo was named secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday.

Robredo's appointment papers has been signed by President Benigno Aquino.

He was among several candidates considered by Aquino for the post.

Robredo, a long-time mayor of Naga and a member of the Liberal Party, was the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service back in 2000, one of 14 major individual awards he has received for his public service.

Under his watch, Naga City received awards for government transparency. The city has also been hailed as one of the best-managed cities in the country.

In his official biography at the Naga City website, Robredo was cited in 1999 by Asiaweek for transforming the city, "energizing" the bureaucracy.

He was credited for "dramatically improved stakeholdership and people participation in governance, in the process restoring Naga to its preeminent position as premier city of the Bicol Region. Today, Naga is considered a model local government in the country and a laboratory of local government innovation."

Before Robredo was selected, Aquino concurrently held the interior and local government portfolio.

The appointment of the interior and local government secretary became controversial after Vice President Jejomar Binay had said he would like to be of service to the government by heading the DILG.

But later, he announced he would not take any position given to him by the President since his entry into the Cabinet did not sit well with some members of the Liberal Party.

Binay is a member of the PDP-Laban and was the running mate of Aquino's rival, former President Joseph Estrada. However, the Binays and the Aquinos have been close political families ever since the years of the Marcos dictatorship.

Then President Corazon Aquino appointed Binay officer-in-charge of Makati in 1986, and the Binays have been at the helm of the city ever since. -- With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News