I happened to chance by a very rare tribute in Philippine media to Raul Roco last night on ANC Online. Gene Orejana replayed his last interview with him, which was about five days before the May 10 elections. It was interesting, to say the least, seeing how the electoral issues Roco harped on during the said interview was exactly what's haunting the Philippine presidency today.
Roco had so much trust in the Filipino people. He was particularly hopeful of the youth, the audience he entrusted to carry him all the way into the presidency. During the interview, he really became passionate and was incensed when he heard a comment that the Filipino voters, most specially the masa, were dumb voters. He had so much faith and so much hope in us that we will make the right choice.
While watching him wax eloquently on national issues and addressing the electoral controversies of that time, I can't help but wonder why he never got to become president. Maybe Manolo was correct in assessing that Roco's unwillingness to "play" trapo made him admirable, but too much of a wildcard, for the "sheep" who decided to stick with the "wolves" they know.
Personally, I believe that the only choice we had during the last presidential elections were two: Roco and Villanueva. Both had the moral integrity and the intellectual capacity to lead the country. I would have voted for Roco on the basis of his track record alone (specially his Senate record, which was sterling), but in the end, I decided to go for Villanueva because Roco has earned too many enemies in the political arena, a baggage which I believed would have bogged down his presidency.
A vote for Roco and Villanueva was painted during the last elections as the "wasted vote." I think, though, that right now, those who allowed themselves to be persuaded by this argument are the ones who feel that they wasted their votes on their choice of the "lesser evil." Basta ako, di ko pinagsisihan ang boto ko. Can the same be said for you?