By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
(UPDATE) FORMER Kalibo mayor William Lachica, nephew of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, has endorsed the candidacy for president of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., or BBM, believing that the latter will bring a unifying leadership back to the country.
Despite the big role played by Cardinal Sin in the 1986 People Power that ended the two-decade rule of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong's father, Lachica said he believes that the bitter lessons of history taught Filipinos that the only way for the country to rise from mediocrity is to unite under a common goal.
A maverick politician who is aiming to be Aklan's next governor, he added that if his uncle, Cardinal Sin, were alive today, the latter would have preferred unity rather than discord.
"Kung buhay si Cardinal Sin, 'yun din ang kanyang magiging intensyon, na magkaisa ang mga tao at kalimutan na ang pagkakawatak-watak dahil sa pulitika. Napakahaba ng mahigit 30 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 happened in our country)," Lachica said in an interview.
When asked why he joined Marcos Jr.'s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, he replied that he and his family began to compare the past with 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 kanyang pamamalakad dito sa aming probinsya (It was different during the time of the older Marcos. You see progress that was far from what is happening now. That's why when I entered politics, I emulated a lot from his leadership here in our province)," Lachica said.
The former mayor, 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 kanyang 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 added.
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.
"Pero sa ngayon ang tingin ko tanging ang kanyang anak lamang, si Bongbong, ang makakapag-ahon sa atin sa mga problema nating kinakaharap. Kaya't naniniwala kami sa kanyang panawagan ng pagkakaisa upang matupad ang kanyang 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 added.
Marcos Jr. and his running mate, candidate for vice president Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, have appealed to all Filipinos to join in their call for national unity.
The tandem, dubbed as the BBM-Sara UniTeam, has consistently led pre-election surveys for their respective positions.
As part of its Covid19 pandemic recovery plan, the UniTeam has pledged to revive the agriculture sector and continue President Rodrigo Duterte's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program to generate jobs and jumpstart the country's economy.
It believes that creating a unified front amid the problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic is the best hope for the country to recover swiftly. CATHERINE S. VALENTE