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A few good men

LOCAL politicos could learn a thing or two about leadership and power from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

During my recent visit to this city of congeniality, I was amazed at how average citizens regard their female leader with profound awe and deepest respect.

A cab driver in Wellington bared how their amiable PM rode their company’s taxis and engaged his colleague-driver in cheery conversation.

Like a schoolboy gushing over a teacher, the cabbie added that Kiwis love Ardern as she doesn’t display the ceramic stiffness of traditional politicians. Her presence, even among lesser mortals, is not infected by the haughtiness which usually accompanies corrupted public officials.

On the local front, Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon as well as administrator and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) Raul S. Lambino also serves as a silent but strong for his fellow public servants.

A federalism advocate like President Rodrigo Duterte, Lambino only has full respect for written rules and is bent on following the letter of the law. He governs with full transparency, without any room for leverage.

No wonder President Duterte didn’t have qualms in flying to Lambino’s turf in Cagayan to lead the destruction of smuggled vehicles, some of which were luxury cars, as part of the government’s continued crackdown on illegal shipments.

Duterte endured more than an hour flight from Villamor to Tuguegarao airport, then another 30 minutes by chopper to Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. But the Chief Executive didn’t complain, proof that he was solidly behind Lambino and fully satisfied with the CEZA chief’s governance.

Lambino is also a staunch crusader against corruption, and does not tolerate misbehavior — no matter how seemingly trivial — under his watch. Top photojournalist Joseph Muego said the CEZA chief showed this firm resolve during the destruction of the smuggled vehicles.

Muego revealed that Lambino was livid when he learned that some security personnel reportedly took decals of some of the car to be destroyed apparently as ‘souvenir.’ The CEZA chief immediately relieved the entire security group and ordered a probe. Charges were filed against those found guilty and two guards were jailed.

Another future shaper of politics, albeit in Bicol, is Miracle Health Corporation CEO ‘Doc’ Joey Betito.

Betito announced that he will run for Board Member of the First District of Albay, during his well-attended birthday celebration last August 19, which also was the anniversary of MHC. He is also the Regional Public Information Committee Chair in Region V of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), a new national political party supporting the President.

These men do not brandish power like swords just to maim and hurt for gain. Rather they gently use their authority like the legendary gentleman’s cloak which they lay down on the ground so others could walk safely and not find themselves stuck in mud.

These few good men remind me of a politician who was in a league of his own, the late former Ambassador and Leyte Gov. Benjamin ‘Kokoy’ Romualdez. He believed that true power belongs to the masses and that leaders are mere instruments for peace and progress.

He summed up his effective leadership and the reason why he was loved by everybody anywhere, everywhere in one unassailable dictum: “You become more powerful when you don’t use your power.”

Written By: Tess L. Lardizabal – Ppls. Tonight | From News Paper.

 

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