Secretary Jesse Robredo’s death has translated to renewed interest in the good governance movement he founded.
Robredo was a founding member of Kaya Natin Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, a group composed mostly of students and professionals who want to see ethical leadership in politics. The group has more than 3,000 volunteers nationwide.
Two weeks after Robredo’s death, the group held a “Know Kaya Natin Day.” Newly appointed Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca, also a founding member, said the number of people who came surprised them. The event was supposed to target the youth, where majority of Kaya Natin recruits come from. But people from different walks of life arrived and expressed interest.
“There were nuns, professionals, and sadly, old people who have grown old without seeing their dream of good governance realized,” Padaca said.
Padaca attributes the attention to the late Secretary: “Good governance is an abstract concept, it’s not a sexy topic,” she said, “but now it has a face.”
Their Facebook, Twitter and email accounts also have been deluged with inquiries how to join Kaya Natin, she said. Their Facebook Page got more than 4,000 new likes in the weeks immediately after Robredo’s demise hit the news, more than double its original likes. The page now has 8,340 likes.
Kaya Natin’s Nash Cordero said there was also a 30 percent hike in the number of volunteers when the public became aware that the DILG Secretary was a founding and active member of the group.
Not bad for an organization dismissed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago as a bunch of pretentious people playing politics and “trying to mislead the Filipino public with (their) prestige or (their) influence.”
Padaca believes that the increase in Kaya Natin membership is a vindication of sorts both for the organization and for its lead convenor Harvey Keh who was humiliated on national television by Santiago during his testimony at the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The Senator berated Keh for delivering documents from anonymous sources to the Senate President’s office. Keh and Kaya Natin took a beating from the feisty Senator at the stand that Padaca cried in anger and frustration on media interviews after Keh’s testimony.
At one point, doubting Keh’s testimony on the number of Kaya Natin members, the Senator even threatened to have the group investigated by her staff.
“I felt bad and sad that in all the hard work that we have consistently put in the last four years, we would be dismissed just like that,” Padaca said.
Padaca took issue with how the lady senator painted Kaya Natin’s campus and local government tours, which they call Caravan of Good Governance, as pakulo or mere gimmickry.
Whether it is gimmickry or genuine act for change, it seems that more people are riding in Kaya Natin’s caravan of good governance.