KALIBO, Aklan – Ever wonder what the letter L stands for in the name of the late Jaime L. Cardinal Sin?
Well, wonder no more. It stands for Lachica.
But despite the big role played by the late Church leader in the 1986 People Power that ended the two-decade rule of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Cardinal Sin’s nephew, former Kalibo Mayor William Lachica, believes that the bitter lessons of history taught the Filipino people that the only way for the country to rise from mediocrity is to unite under a common goal.
Lachica, a maverick politician who is aiming to be Aklan’s next governor, is an ardent supporter of Marcos’s son, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and he strongly believes that if his uncle Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin was alive today the latter would have preferred unity rather than discord.
“Kung buhay si Cardinal Sin ‘yun din ang kaniyang magiging intensyon, na magkaisa ang mga tao at kalimutan na ang pagkakawatak-watak dahil sa pulitika. Napakahaba ng mahigit tatlumpong taon at nakita naman nating halos walang nangyari sa bayan natin (If Cardinal Sin is alive, that will also be his intention, for the people to unite and forget the divisions due to politics. It has been more than 30 years and we have seen almost nothing happen in our country),” he said in an interview.
Lachica was in his early 20’s when the so-called EDSA revolt transpired and although the political upheaval altered his family’s relatively low-keyed life, he would soon find himself engulfed in politics, thanks to his new-found fame that was inadvertently brought by his celebrated uncle.
“Nagsimula ako bilang konsehal, hanggang maging mayor at ngayon nga ay tumatakbo bilang gobernador. Sa palagay ko malaking bagay din ang pagiging kamag-anak ko sa kaniya, pero kung hindi din naman ako nagsikap na maglingkod ng maayos eh hindi din naman siguro ako ihahalal ng mga kababayan ko (I started as a councilor until I became mayor and now, I am running as governor. I think, it’s a big thing that I’m related to him, but if I don’t try to serve well, maybe my constituents won’t elect me either),” he said.
Asked why he joined Marcos’ Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), Lachica said he and his family began to compare the past from what was happening and slowly realized the folly of the political elite’s power grab when they saw the country deteriorating because of failed leadership and unbridled bureaucratic shenanigans.
“Iba talaga sa panahon nung matandang Marcos. Nakikita mo ang pag-unlad na malayong malayo sa nangyayari ngayon. Kaya naman nung pumasok ako sa pulitika marami akong kinopya sa kaniyang pamamalakad dito sa aming probinsya (It was different during the time of old Marcos. You see progress that is far from what is happening now. That’s why when I entered politics, I emulated a lot from his leadership here in our province),” he said.
Lachica, whose grandfather is the brother of Cardinal Sin’s mother, said at first there was division in their family because of the prelate’s role in the ouster of the older Marcos, but after a while they came to the conclusion that indeed Bongbong’s father was the best, if not the greatest, president the Philippines has ever had.
“Naniniwala akong ipagpapatuloy ni Bongbong ang mga nasimulan ng kaniyang ama. Para sa aming pamilya, napakalaking bagay na nakikita namin siyang nagpapakumbaba at umiiwas sa mapanira at mapagwatak-watak na pulitika (I believe Bongbong will continue what his father started. For our family, it is important that we see him humble and avoiding destructive and divisive politics),” he said
Quizzed whether Cardinal Sin erred in siding with the adversaries of Marcos in 1986, Lachica said only history will be the sole judge whether it was a wise decision or not.
“Pero sa ngayon ang tingin ko tanging ang kaniyang anak lamang, si Bongbong, ang makakapag-ahon sa atin sa mga problema nating kinakaharap. Kaya’t naniniwala kami sa kaniyang panawagan ng pagkakaisa upang matupad ang kaniyang mga pangarap para sa bansa (But for now, I think, only his son, Bongbong, can lift us out of the problems we face. So, we believe in his call for unity to fulfill his dreams for the country),” he said. (PR)