On the death of Sec. Jesse Robredo: Every body else was gobsmacked with what happened, like I’m bushwacked because we never expected it. In my mind, it raises again the question of the problem of evil. We know when a person dies, but we don’t know why a person dies. This is basically the question of the suffering of the innocent, which is also known in theology as the problem of evil. Why does a person have to die? You, and including myself, have our own nominees who should have been there in that piper plane. But of all these dozens of people we could nominate, why did it have to be him? There is no answer to that theologically. To be able to answer that you have to know the mind of God, and since God is inaccessible to the human mind (He is perhaps accessible in a spiritual level that we could never reach while we are here on Earth), it would be very presumptuous for people to say that it was God’s will. But that is the end of his life. He was a good and honest man. When I ran for president in 1992, he took the initiative to invite me for dinner in his humble home. And he was saying that he was hoping he could follow my footsteps in government; his wife was saying that she was hoping to become a lawyer like me. All this has taken place. And I was very proud when he became a Cabinet member, although he was not bombastic — that was his way. This is ineffable. It is beyond words. It’s just a loss.

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