Of the three so-called “Jesse’s Angels” here, it is Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo’s youngest daughter Jillian who appears to have a predilection to join the showbiz industry.
And so when she started to accept that her father is now gone, Jillian could not help but ask how old Kris was when her father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr., died, it was revealed by her elder sister Patricia in a speech during a necrological service here Sunday night.
“Jillian wants to be an actress. After we learned that Papa is dead, she told Mama, ‘Ma, how old was Kris when Ninoy died?’” said Patricia in the local dialect.
“Because she said she might be like Kris Aquino when she grows up,” Patricia added.
To which an embarrassed Jillian sought comfort from her smiling mother, lawyer Leni, when those present at the Naga City Hall burst into laughter. Sitting beside her was Aika, the eldest of the three sisters.
Like Jillian, Kris Aquino was also 12 years old when Ninoy was assassinated at the airport now named after him upon his return from the United States. Former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez introduced Kris to show business, it was learned.
And it was on the 19th anniversary of Ninoy’s assassination on August 21 when Robredo’s body was found inside the Piper Seneca plane wreckage some 180 feet below the sea off Masbate City.
While Robredo has no special favorite among the three sisters, family spokesman Jun Lavadia said Jillian naturally was close to her father being the youngest.
Jillian currently wears the locally-made wristwatch that Robredo still wore when his cadaver was recovered.
The wristwatch is still working, with Leni saying that it would be a good advertisement for the watch company as it still works despite being submerged at 180 feet for almost three days.
It was the first time that Patricia spoke in public since her father’s death. Lavadia said she might have been chosen to make the speech because of the three sisters, she was the most emotional and sensitive.
So sensitive, according to Lavadia, that Robredo was forced to seek the assistance of his wife Leni to act as a negotiator when she would not speak to him over a petty father-daughter misunderstanding.
“Ma, can you please talk to her (Patricia)? ... because she would not speak to me,” Lavadia quoted Robredo telling his wife
In her speech, Patricia recalled how her father would find time to help them in their assignments no matter how busy he was.
Lavadia revealed that Robredo is very concerned when he would find out low examination results or grades to any of his three daughters.
“Maybe you were ready to die, but we weren’t ready to lose you. Although I don’t understand why you had to leave so soon, I’m still very grateful to have been raised and to have been loved by you,” said Patricia.
Patricia then promised that she would be the kind of person that her father wants her to be.
“Promise, Pa, hindi kami magbo-boyfriend nina Ate at Jill kung hindi sila kasing guwapo at kasing bait mo,” said Patricia.
By AARON B. RECUENCO