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A Pinoy Speaks

January 26, 2010

I believe it is important for Sen. Noynoy Aquino to lay to rest any and all questions about the Hacienda Luisita massacre while also fulfilling his commitment to justly address the long pending claims of the remaining tenant farmers at the hacienda.

These words come not from one of the detractors of the leading president candidate in this May’s elections but from one of his own senator bets: Atty. Alexander ‘Pinoy’ Lacson.

It would be easy to dismiss the statement as a vote-getting quote but the way

(Photo credit: Rochelle Sy Chua)

Mr. Lacson said those words last night in a no holds barred meet-up with bloggers – calmly, absent any bluster, and nary a thought pause – evoked the sincerity this writer seldom sees these days from people running for high office.

Asked if he would have considered being the defense lawyer of alleged Maguindanao massacre brains Andal Ampatuan Jr, Lacson replied:

While I believe an accused is entitled to counsel and presumed innocent until proven guilty, I would not, in conscience, take own the case given the welter of evidence that has surfaced in this most heinous crime.

On the long-running conflict in Mindanao:

The search for peace is a most arduous task. But we can never give up on the negotiations, on talking with our brothers no matter their persuasion.
I believe there is only one God, one Supreme Being.
He put us all here as Filipinos and nothing should divide us. We have one destiny.

The Negrense that he is, Alex Lacson, displayed intimate understanding of how the agrarian reform program has not really improved the lot of farners in Negros.

He decried not only the absence of long-promised support services – safety nets – for the sugar farmers:

It is tragic that up to 6-percent of the funds for agrarian reform are really used to support the unwieldy and inefficient Department of Agrarian Reform.

As the evening wore on Atty. Lacson detailed his reform-focused political vision anchored on his belief that the Filipino “can and should write his Bagong Istorya, a bright future buttressed by educational opportunities reaching out to all communities, of entrepreneurship and productivity that pro-Filipino, and pride for his history and culture.

The words emblazoned on his shirt said it all: Thank God I’m Filipino!

Godspeed, Atty. Alex!

(Lacson is the author of the bestselling book “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country” and the poem “I am Filipino”.)

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