27 October 2006

Growing Raul's seeds of hope

KILLING TIME for my Davao flight at 10:30am, I dropped by at our youngest brother's cubbyhole somewhere in Kabihasnan, Parañaque City. Along the way, Congressman Nereus "Neric" Acosta's short address yesterday kept on creeping from the back of my mind.

Delivered in measured, conversational tone, the message uplifts the forlorn spirit, rekindles hope and challenges the listener to seize Sen. Raul Roco's legacy to help build a better country, especially in the heels of the 8-7 Supreme Court decision that practically dealt a deathblow to the GI masquerading as PI.

The event is remarkable, he said, owing to the presence of two Ramon Magsaysay awardees who both hail from the Bicol region: Eggie Apostol (Sorsogon) and Mayor Robredo (Naga), the 2000 awardee for government service.

The country has a lot to learn from, and indeed looks on Naga as a beacon of hope, especially in genuine democratic governance. He specifically mentioned the Raul Roco Library at city hall, and hoped all communities in the Philippines will have the same repository of accumulated knowledge accessible to every citizen.

What struck me most was the use of mathematical metaphors: the country should move on from transactional politics that have yielded the least common denominator (obviously referring to GMA) to a principled one led by its
greatest common product. Something didn't add up, I thought, so I summoned whatever remains of my math, and still unsure as I write this, the über-useful Wikipedia. Neric must be referring to the greatest common factor, also known as the highest common divisor.

That minor slip however did not detract at all from the force of his message. I can only hope the nation will listen: especially his congressional district in Bukidnon where the infamous Virgilio Garcillano--yes, he of the "Hello, Garci" infamy--is bruited to be angling to take over in the all but guaranteed May 2007 elections.


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