Nong Amor’s legacy…. and what Mayor Rosento has to explain

A lot of quizzical eyebrows were raised  as a result of the inclusion of Mayor Nieves Rosento in the roster  of so – called  narco politicians released by NAPOLCOM and DILG. How she landed on that list is a big surprise to everyone who knows the Mayor. and I understand  DILG  has  not  yet given her  what amounts to a bill of  particulars  to justify her inclusion.

How, then, do you qualify as a narco politician? If the standard to be one means to be in the company of the likes of Mayors Espinosa and Parojinog, then Mayor Rosento, if the allegations stand, is   but a “babe in the woods “. I called up friends in El Nido for their objective assessment of the Mayor’s predicament. Each has their own narratives often entangled with the politics of the town, but many were as clueless and as unbelieving as most of the town’s residents. They could not come to grips that the Mayor, whose life is an open book, is in the company of some of the country’s   suspected narco politicians.

El Nido, in spite of its great economic strides, remains a small town with a network of old families whose members are as mindful of their neighbors’ as they are of their own lives. The Mayor and her family live simply, unaffected by their rise in politics.  Certainly, any abrupt change in their economic status and in their daily lives, couldn’t escape the prying eyes of their neighbors and their flowing gossips. And In a minute, it will be a trending topic in the grapevine.  But as one resident puts it, if the Mayor has to explain anything at all, it should be about their “unexplained poverty”.

I hope PDEA  or  any of the  other intelligence  agencies involve in gathering raw data,  could re- check their sources, show the Mayor the goods, and if it won’t stick, be man enough to rectify what is obviously an irreparable  injustice to Mayor Rosento.

AND BY THE WAY:  Belated birthday greetings  to  Nong Amor  whose yearly  birthday celebration  is eagerly awaited by his  numerous  friends, associates and relatives.  Of course, Nong Amor is ALFREDO E. ABUEG, JR., former House Deputy Speaker, former OIC Mayor of Puerto Princesa, former Senior COMELEC Commissioner, Senior Delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, former Presidential Assistant, son and namesake of a Governor, and father of a current House Deputy Speaker.  And for those who have known him for generations, he is the unflappable everyone’s Manong Amor.

It was during the dark days of Martial law when Nong Amor’s character and integrity were tested by fire. Fresh from his stint as ConCon Delegate, he returned home to Puerto Princesa to resume his law practice, which in most cases, was pro bono for his poor clients. Many of his former colleagues in the ConCon had opted to join the Marcos’ bandwagon, while in Palawan, every notable politician had joined the monolithic Kilusan Bagong Lipunan… But not Manong Amor. He chose the road less taken and nurtured instead, through sheer grit, the dwindling ranks of the opposition to the Marcos regime.

Not too long after, the regime would collapse and Nong Amor’s star would rise, getting choice appointments first as OIC Mayor of Puerto Princesa, and later as COMELEC Commissioner. At the COMELEC, I recall how the legendary Pasay  politician, Mayor Pablo Cuneta,  profusely thankful for the  fast disposition of his electoral case without spending an extra cent, sent word  that he would send daughter Sharon  to wherever the Commissioner may need her.. His stint at the poll body, however, was cut short when he ran and won as Congressman of Palawan’s Second District in 1992, serving it for three terms, running unopposed in his last electoral contest.  At the House, he was Deputy Speaker and a trusted ally of then Speaker Manny Villar. Together with a few Congress stalwarts, they would plot the pivotal strategy that lead to the Speaker’s furious reading of the House Resolution endorsing the impeachment of President Estrada.

In his long checkered career, Nong Amor has left an indelible mark for the next generation to emulate.  Perhaps, his enduring legacy is to have set a precedent that leaders need not be blabbers nor blusterers that swagger through the political stage, and then is gone in a moment. Humble to a fault, Nong Amor’s leadership was rooted in the deep seated old verities of integrity, hard work and selfless service. These are his unbending moral compass as he journeyed through the rough and tumble world of politics.

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