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                                                                                                          Refer to: Ms. Dale Zapata


Saying the times need more dedicated leaders

11 September 2005

Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro paid tribute to the much-beloved son of the province of Rizal, particularly the city of Antipolo, the late Senator Lorenzo S. Sumulong, the father of incumbent Antipolo Congressman Victor Sumulong, on the occasion of the senator’s 100th birth anniversary and led the giving out of the Gawad Sumulong Awards to outstanding achievers at the Ynares Gym, Antipolo City.

Vice President De Castro admirably refers to Sumulong as one of the senators who exchange wits and ideas during the ‘glorious days of the senate’, the time when the best senators of the land, senators who were political giants of their time with fervent love for the country and countrymen, leaders with principle and honor. Vice President De Castro distinctly remembered one of Sumulong’s brilliant quotations that still truly reverberates even during these very challenging days.

"Kung si Bonifacio ay buhay ngayon, ilan kaya sa mga pulitiko ngayon, ilan kaya sa mga taong nasa pamahalaan, ilan kaya sa mga itinuturing na haligi ng lipunan, ang kanyang tatanggapin sa kaniyang katipunan ng mga anak ng bayan? Ilan kaya ang itataboy niya at pagsasabihan: hindi kayo makakasapi pagka’t ang inyong pag-ibig sa bayan ay buka sa bibig ngunit kabig sa dibdib, ang paghahangad ninyo sa tungkulin o kapangyarihan ay hindi upang makadamay sa inyong kapwa kundi upang magpasasa at magpaunlad sa sariling kapakanan."

Himself a former senator, the Vice President admired the insight, as well as the foresight, in this case, of Senator Sumulong in the above-mentioned quote especially the part in which he called on all leaders, both in private but more so in public service, to be always true to their promise and deliver what are expected of them and, more importantly, in doing only what is good for the country and its people and not what is good for their selfish ends.

Like what Senator Sumulong exemplified during his time, Vice President De Castro admitted that in the crises we are in, no less than the full dedication of public servants, particularly the leaders, free from petty political bickering and party loyalty, are very much needed to see us through these hardships.

The Vice President cited the statesmanship of Sumulong when he chose to retire after being excluded from the 1967 Nacionalista Party senatorial candidates even as he was one of the heavy favorites being a topnotcher in the last elections to give way to Salvador Laurel, who was the Vice President of President Cory Aquino in 1986. Sumulong declined offers from the Liberal Party to jump to their side and even a tempting Malacañang dangle of a juicy position in government.

The first magna cum laude in the University of the Philippines and a bar topnotcher in 1929 who also had a masters of law in Harvard University was also honored by the Vice President for being fearless in ferreting out the truth in the four congressional investigations he headed.

Among these was the impeachment proceedings against the-President Elpidio Quirino for alleged embezzlement of public fund, the investigation on the Tambobong-Buenavista estate deal that accused the President’s sibling and his Secretary of Justice, the multi-million lobby of Chinese for President Magsaysay for the legalization of temporary Chinese visitors and the infamous and controversial Stonehill investigation where office of the president, senators, congressmen, officials of the internal revenue at customs, at other government officials were investigated.

Vice President De Castro is optimistic that a lot more Sumulongs more would come out even among ordinary folks like the teachers, farmers, small entrepreneurs, overseas workers with his ideals as shining guide. 


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