Monday, August 08, 2005

Remebering Raul Roco

There comes in your life that you look up to someone with so much admiration. Someone who in your inner self you feel would be a very good leader. I had that kind of reverence to Raul Roco. One of the best lawmaker the Philippines ever had, being in the public service for very long being a congressman, senator and even a secretary of Education. He had run for the top post twice, but failed, losing to more popular candidates—Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo (Estrada was toppled with a people revolt and now Mrs. Arroyo has been pressured to resign or faced an impeachment trial that also besieged her predecessor.

I’ve always wondered how things are if Roco had been president. His wits and gentle ways would have been a feel of fresh water to the face in these turbulent times. But I guess we will never know. Ever.

I was stunned last Saturday when I was watching TV PATROL in TFC that Roco had a cardiac arrest and passed away. Even when I’m not living in the Philippines now, I know it’s still a big blow and loss to the Philippine people and to the nation in general to have lost someone of the former solon’s caliber. I’ve had always a leftist inclination since my college days, and too many leaders have failed me in search of true reforms. But my admiration for Roco has never waned and I’ve always been a supporter. Aside from being a top solon, he was also a very intelligent man, the youngest delegate to the constitutional convention being a youth leader in 1971, A financial law reformer, A champion for the Teachers, the OFW’s and the women, and a very successful corruption fighter (which made him unpopular with the department of education whose system he revolutionized during his tenure as DepEd secretary).

There are still so many things to say about Raul Roco but it wouldn’t matter now, will it? Though if there’s something to sum up Roco’s legacy, it’s what Congressman Teddy Locsin’s words: “Raul Roco was the best president the Filipino people never had.”