The honest man
Under what standard should the Filipino electorate or an appointing authority choose the one who is to occupy a seat of power in the bureaucracy, besides of course the minimum qualification needed for the position as set in the Local Government Code and the Civil Service laws? Save the popular dictum oftentimes mistaken as the barometer upon which government officials and employees are hired that is “It is not what you know but whom you know,” selecting the one who deserves the “nod” is practically moored on trust and confidence. This coincides with the fact that applicants are required to submit names and addresses of character references.
Nevertheless a primary criterion, beyond an applicant or hopeful’s ability to do work under pressure and without close supervision, is his background that would attest to his integrity, honesty and dedication to work. Of course, among political candidates their performance record is a plus factor. Sadly though, in the country’s political climate, money changes many things and impacts upon the winnability of a candidate. This explains why elections should be honest, orderly and peaceful, that is without taint of vote-buying and other election-related fraud and violence. Being honest, orderly and peaceful emanates from each person’s values.
Without elaboration, honesty precedes all other positive attributions of a person. Just take the popularity of the late Sec. Jesse Manalastas Robredo of DILG, whose honest service in the government won the Filipinos’ admiration. He is truly “an honest man”, as Tacloban priest Rev. Fr. Bryan Murillo extolled in a homily last Thursday. Remembering the humility of Sec. Jesse, he explained that he was the kind of official whose good deeds were not fully known to many Filipinos until after his death. He was not the kind who would boast of his accomplishments, who did not like photoops, pictures and videos while performing his job, unlike others.
Would you still recall Energy Sec. Cesar Purisima’s eulogy during the necrological services for the late statesman at Malacañang Palace which cited the latter’s “Tsinelas leadership”? It was about breaking the border between the officials and their constituents. He also explained (in gist) that wearing tsinelas while serving the people makes it easier for the public servant to move around and reach out to the people faster and more effectively compared to when wearing shoes or heeled shoes. Sec. Cesar jested that for sure for the coming elections more candidates will campaign in slippers.
Campaigning using slippers will surely impersonate the humility and sincerity of Sec. Jesse whose popularity among Filipinos across the archipelago and abroad has become so phenomenal with the aid of the fourth estate, including the internet. He was well loved and respected that the electorate is now setting after him the standards for the search of the true leader, an honest man who will lead them in charting the future of the locality. It should be like Jesse, a man named after the most honest and humble being, Christ Jesus, who truly served the people even until death.
By: Eillen Nazareno-Ballesteros
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