RARELY does a city see the passing of two leaders who have shown the determination to face the challenges besetting them as part of the political landscape.
Just this succeeding week, we saw the passing of 91 –year – old former Baguio City Mayor Jaime Bugnosen and retired RTC Judge Braulio Dacanay Yaranon who peacefully joined the creator at the age of 90.
The striking resemblance of both duly elected chief executives is, they never succumbed to the political gambit of giving up their cause to favor interest groups. It was always the people.
During the 1990 killer earthquake which saw Baguio having the most of the destruction, Mayor Bugnosen who unseated former Mayor Ramon "Jun" Labo Jr. in 1989 due to his citizenship, called on local officials, businessmen, government and non-government organizations and civic groups to help the city to stand up again amidst the unforeseen future of the countries summer capital.
And as it is now, the geographic metropolitan cities like Metro Manila, Quezon City, Cebu, and Davao will not be complete if Baguio City is not mentioned.
Simply put, Baguio has evolved into a highly urbanized city as compared to what it was prior to the earthquake, due to his political will to help bring Baguio back.
In 2004, Baguio saw the resurgence of a former City Secretary, Councilor, and Vice Mayor to become Mayor of the city in the name of retired RTC Judge Braulio Yaranon.
Yaranon stood by his campaign promise to adhere to the rule of law, and to fight graft and corruption in government, eventually paving the way for him to be suspended by the Supreme Court for a year.
His crusade against a pay parking firm truly showed his moral toughness, whether against a corporate pay parking firm nor the dreaded meningococemia which hit the city resulting in 19 deaths.
Despite these challenges, he managed to overcome the odds to which up to now, the positive effects of how he managed the city is still being felt.
These two gentlemen have shown grace in times of crisis and have proven themselves to their constituents. A true mark of a leader. A leader which should be followed by present day political wannabees.
And alas, their brand of leadership is what is needed in the great political arena which would define one’s self for after all, the determination of an individual is gauged on how he or she has treated his or her brethren.
So Hail Mayor Bugnosen, Hail Mayor Yaranon!
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on May 19, 2017.
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