Delicadeza is such a lonely word
Am I Running Again
hile abroad, I bumped into a friend who introduced me to his companions. And upon hearing my name, one of them, a businessman, remarked that “It must be quiet now in CDO as you are here.” We all laughed and after exchanging a few pleasantries, we said our goodbyes. Upon my return, that same businessman called to condole over the death of my father-in-law and to ask if we can meet up for dinner that day. But since we already have dinner plans, he suggested that we meet even for coffee and so I agreed. That was April 17, 2012.
That meeting over coffee resulted in a dinner a few days after at his home with Governor Moreno, who came late with his basketball players. And so it was that night that the Governor told me that he has secured his family’s blessing to run for Mayor against the incumbent whom I had led to be removed, albeit unsuccessfully, through the recall signature campaign.
I did not know much of the Governor. We do go to the same gym. I watched him on TV during the impeachment trial against then President Estrada. We were together for a day during the campaign for Senator, and now deceased Joker Arroyo. Joker is a fraternity brother and they were together as part of the prosecution team during the impeachment trial. Though I am quite close to some of his relations, that is all I knew of him. While listening to his story, at the back of my mind I wondered what was the real reason why he did not agree to challenge Mayor Emano at that point when we were peaking with our signature drive.
He then asked me to run with him. He said that I was the first one he had invited and that made me feel special. He said that he admired my courage for standing up to the most powerful politician in the region, and that was flattering. But I was more interested on why he was running and what sort of a man he is. Besides, I was already comfortable with the progress we were having with our advocacy on the environment and good governance. And now that there was a political stalwart who will face up to the challenge for change then the electoral process was good enough. I was content in my place as a private citizen. I asked for time to consult and reflect. But a decision had to be made. I called for a special meeting a few days after, of Save CDO Now Movement, where I asked to be relieved as Chairman. Even though I have not accepted the offer, I felt that it would not be right to perform my role, being quoted, seen and heard on media, with a tinge of political color, clouding, what to me is a principled advocacy. The Board understood and let me go. I asked my wife, children, family and friends. I asked for spiritual guidance and prayers from the religious. I was afraid of being thrust into a world deep in corruption and deceit. The signature campaign led me to work with people I have never worked before and if I did accept, there will be more lies and deception, coming straight to my family and home. And so I asked,what for? Intention is very important. Intent can make an act criminal. Months passed and soon, I heard of names being floated and announced as part of the party of Governor Moreno. Still, I could not decide.
Until I heard outgoing Governor Moreno speak before the crowd, “Vice-Governor Norris Babiera will be a better governor than I am”. This was during the last State of the Province address of the outgoing leadership of the province. That statement moved me to accept the offer to run for councilor and be part of the challenge against the incumbent. Maybe I was naive, but I found that public statement as a reflection of the man’s humility. For most, maybe if not all politicians, are of the insecure kind. With forked tongues they can admire and praise, with a straight face, persons whom they truly detest. Which is what was explained to the fraternity by the family of the late Senator Joker Arroyo. One of his dying wish was not to have any ceremony, service nor rites upon his death. He did not relish being extolled for his virtues by men and women with forked tongues. Politicians who are nice but fake and rotten to the core. Those were my own words of course, but Senator Joker got his wish and simply faded away.