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Sunday, December 8, 2013

MAKATI CITY - An interview by a young Loren Legarda of then South African president Nelson Mandela during a Philippine vis it in 1997 gave us a glimpse of a man setting an example for politicians everywhere wanting to leave a legacy of greatness.

I guess his example of leadership clashed with the kind of politics mastered by Filipino politicians.

Like the late president Cory Aquino, Mandela wanted to serve as president for only one term. We know presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arrroyo tried to move heaven to extend their terms and, to our fortune, miserably failed.

Our politicians likewise tend to always blame and criticize the former leader even years after the last election. But Mandela instead praised former South African president F.W. de Klerk for making a peaceful transformation from apartheid possible.

“Whatever mistake he made in the past, but from the point of view of ensuring that we have a bloodless transformation, he set South Africa on the path to a better world,” Mandela told Loren.

We know very much how Mandela suffered as a prisoner for 27 years under apartheid with de Klerk as the last president who allowed the transition.

I sure wished our politicians--both local and national—will emulate Mandela and not use past leaders and issues as punching bag for present issues and failures.


As an advocate against all kinds of pork barrel and patronage politics, I urge our politicians to emulate him especially in the coming era of zero pork barrel. Of course I am not saying that the day of zero has come with the recent Supreme Court decision.

The struggle continues because these pork beneficiaries (I mean the politicians) won’t legislate away their source of SOP, at the very least.


Has President Noynoy Aquino chosen the right man as rehabilitation czar in former senator Panfilo Lacson? They say Lacson is not corrupt because he did not accept his pork barrel during his stint as senator. But human rights advocates are wary, to say the least, starting from Lacson’s record during the dark days of martial rule. Ping’s role during President Erap’s brief stint in Malacañang should also be looked into.

Lacson detractors likewise point out his lack of experience in rehabilitation work.

Still, his supporters are now talking about a possible presidential run come 2016.

Hmmm. That should put away LP’s Mar Roxas from the line of fire from VP Jojo Binay’s mechanics, attack dogs and demolition engineers. And as I wrote in Maghisgot Kita’g Politika Bay, Lacson is a wily target. I would like to add that he is a target capable of hitting back.


Good that the Dinos are now pushing their Ciudad project. Now is the time for a project worthy of support by both provincial and city leaderships. I just hope the election campaign inertia will dissipate and cooperation between the two warring political groups in Cebu City will take hold.

I am particularly happy that both BOPK and Team Rama councilors have passed joint resolutions, especially on helping victims of Yolanda. They should build on that initial cooperation to make things happen in Cebu City.

After all, as I pointed out in past columns, the 2013 elections showed us that Cebuanos rejected one-man rule. They elected Mayor Mike Rama and a huge majority of BOPK councilors at the City Council for checks and balances. Cebuanos wanted a break from having a council majority that favors the mayor.

On this note, I agree with the view that the City Council should be able to discuss and approve transactions involving the South Road Properties to ensure transparency and prevent corruption. We should learn from what happened at the Provincial Capitol when an uncritical Provincial Board majority approved the purchase of land that turned out to be underwater.


Has Sen. Miriam Santiago gained the upperhand in her epic battle with Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile among the youth? Keen eyes cannot ignore that while JPE made a show of playing a computer game, Miriam connected with a huge crowd of students at the Senate gallery wanting to listen to her.

Online, Miriam’s “Hunger Games” salute has gained over a million likes. Wow!

It seems like Miriam is getting away with her antics while Enrile’s play for an honorable exit from several decades in politics is in shambles.


Calling on Cebuanos helping out foreign relief groups. Please let us police our ranks from unscrupulous individuals aron di ta madaot in the eyes of the world.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 09, 2013.


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