Foreign envoys mourn Robredo

Posted at 08/21/2012 6:57 PM | Updated as of 08/21/2012 6:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The United States and several other countries on Tuesday expressed sadness over the death of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Embassy officials of the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia relayed their condolences to the family of Robredo and pilots Jessup Bahinting and Kshitiz Chand.

"We will miss our friendship and partnership with Secretary Robredo, as he dedicated himself to bettering the lives of the Filipino people.  We stand with the people and government of the Philippines at this difficult time, and are prepared to assist the Philippine Government in the aftermath of this tragic accident," US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. said in a press statement.

"The British Embassy is saddened by the death of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Captain Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Government of the Philippines and the families of Secretary Robredo, Captain Bahinting and Mr. Chand," British Ambassador Stephen Lillie said.

Canadian Ambassador Christopher Thornley described Robredo "as a leader who ushered in a new era of political reform in the Philippines, and inspired government workers to selfless devotion in public service."

"He was an icon of change and a passionate advocate of good governance. Secretary Robredo is recognized for his contributions to government transparency and democratic development; values that Canada strongly shares with the Philippines," Thornley said.

Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell, in a letter to President Benigno Aquino III, also sent his condolences to families of the airplane crash victims.

"Secretary Robredo will be remembered as a great man who served the Filipino people with distinction.  He will also be remembered for his dedication to the fundamental pillars of President Aquino's administration: good governance, transparency and the eradication of poverty," he said.