Trust is important. People will be willing to make sacrifices if they trust their governors. People will understand the mistakes of their governors if they trust them. People will not believe their governors even if they are saying the right things, even if they are truthful, if they don’t trust the governors anymore.
—  Jesse M. Robredo, The good mayor by Patricia Evangelista 

As the Republic celebrates National Heroes Day, we join the nation in saluting an honorable Filipino leader. Mabuhay ang mga bayani ng bayan!

“Kaya naman sa oras ng pagsubok ang panawagan sa bawat sa atin, gisingin ang bayani sa loob mo at tumugon sa tawag ng tungkulin, maliit man o malaki, sikat man o hindi, meron kang maiaambag at sa ngalan ng bayan at kapwa, kailangan mong gawin ang iyong magagawa.”  - President Benigno Aquino III

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Photo by Jay Morales, Malacanang, 08/20/2012

A Philippine Air Force plane flies over the crash site of the piper plane carrying DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and two others while rescue teams continue to scour the sea for signs of the plane. The fuselage of the plane has yet to be found and is believed 200 feet under water. 

DILG chief: Surigao Norte ‘stable’ after NPA attacks

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo assured the public on Friday that the situation in Claver town in Surigao del Norte has already “stabilized” days after a series of insurgent attacks on three mining firms.

"Nag-stabilize na doon. May pursuit operation na kaya nga may engkwentro at nag-uusap pa rin kami ng Chamber of Mines of the Philippines for the next steps," Robredo told reporters at a press conference in Quezon City.

The ecounter Robredo was referring to was the one that happened in Agusan del Sur, south of Surigao del Norte, before noon Thursday, where a soldier was killed after government troops clashed with suspected New People’s Army rebels.

The insurgents involved in the encounter were said to be under George Madlos, the same person who claimed responsibility of the burning of heavy equipment of the three mining firms.

"Mabilis naman ang action ng ating pamahalaan," Robredo stressed.

Real concern

At the same press briefing, Robredo acknowledged that environmental protection might not have been the real concern of insurgents who attacked the three mining sites early this week.

Robredo said the government aims to determine what could possibly be the real motive of the attacks. 

The rebels had earlier insisted that the attacks were in retaliation for the mining companies’ alleged destruction of the environment.

But in a meeting with officials from the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines earlier in the week, Robredo said he learned that there was a different motive for the assault.

"Ang usapan na iyon na labor arrangement at environment, iyon ang sinasabi pero baka may nasa likod pang hindi sinasabi," Robredo said.

On Thursday, the mining group hinted that the attack could have been connected to the mining firms refusal to give in to the rebels’ demand for “revolutionary taxes.”

“As a reiteration of our adherence to the principles of responsible mining and good governance, we wish to underscore that our member-companies will never succumb to pressures of whatever form to pay the rebels’ so-called ‘revolutionary taxes,’” the Chamber of Mines said.

Despite allegations that the attackers were really after revolutionary taxes from the mining firms, Robredo said the government will still pay attention to the environmental issues raised due to the attack.

"Tine-take up namin iyong environmental concerns. We need to address iyon sa usapan. We need to engage with non-government organizations and civil society na may advocacy against mining. Dapat pag-usapan," he said. — RSJ, GMA News