It would have been better had Raul Roco and Eddie Villanueva combined for a spectacular tandem in the last presidential elections. Either way, they would have given Gloria Arroyo and Noli de Castro a run for their money.
Roco, who passed away today due to cancer, personified the best the traditional political elite has to offer. Prior to running for president, he was a former senator and congressman. He championed worthy causes like the “Study Now, Pay Later Act” as a staffer of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and various laws under his own Senate stint. He was, I think, the only “honorary woman” so honored by the nation for his work for the uplift of women through legislation. His criticisms of corruption and expressions of hope captured a segment of the youth.
Meanwhile, Villanueva put his presidential campaign solidly behind a call for moral renewal, asserting the notion that immorality hs taken over the presidency and all spheres of society. This immorality has resulted in so many crimes against people and in unbridled criminality among rulers.
Both Roco and Villanueva however suffered from several handicaps: lack of viable political machineries, absence of truly radical programs and consequently the failure to attract the support of the basic sectors of workers and farmers.
The latter, methinks, will for now on would be the most crucial part of any noteworthy campaign for national leadership in the days to come. This is especially true considering the growing disenchantment over elitist rule and the disastrous sidestepping of the interests of the workers and farmers inspite of their being the real democratic majority in our country.
With his death, Roco leaves a nation still searching for fresh leadership which he hoped to provide but was prevented by the most malignant sections of the ruling elite who would want nothing of the reforms he wanted to take and especially detest the comprehensive social revolution the people aspire for more than ever today.
Eventually, the rotten elite may hatch all possible plots but they have to brace themselves for the eventual triumph of the marginalized sectors whose program for genuine reform seek to overhaul the whole society and bring about a new Philippines that is free from corruption, feudal rule and foreign domination.