Monday, September 20, 2004


Last Sunday I caught an interview of PCGG Chair Haydee Yorac with Lorraine Hahn on CNN's Talk Asia. She was on the show talking about her work in public service and governance for which she was awarded this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service. The awards are considered the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The last time Haydee Yorac was in the news, she was objecting to the administration's impending nomination of Ernesto Maceda to the board of the San Miguel Corporation, which was, of course, her duty as PCGG Chair. What was so remarkable about it was that she was actually in sickbed at the time, recovering from a stroke AND battling a cancerous growth in her ovaries. To the rest of us, she was that memorable Comelec commissioner who popularized the indelible ink.

The best part of the weekend's interview was Atty. Yorac talking about the progress she was making in her stint in the PCGG. She discussed how, when she took over, there were only 13 lawyers with the government agency, so she went back to the University of the Philippines and recruited bright, young faculty members to join her in her crusade to recover ill-gotten wealth. Today, she says, the number of lawyers have increased to 41.

This prompted Lorraine Hahn to ask her, as idealistic as she was, if it weren't tough for her to expect the same kind of idealism and passion from the people she recruited to her cause. To this, Atty. Yorac simply answered that it wasn't, because as remarkable as her idealism and passion is, it wasn't unique to her. She wasn't cynical, she was never cynical, and she never believed that she was alone.

What I find sad about this is how little play Haydee Yorac's award in the mainstream media, which is more interested with the state of Aga and Charlene's marriage. Don't get me wrong, I love showbiz chismis as much as the next person, but there's no reason media outlets couldn't give this story at least as much airtime.

When you come to think of it, Atty. Yorac's even lucky that she's at least popular, unlike the other Filipino laureate this year, Benjamin Abadiano of the Tabang Mindanaw project, in spite of his numerous accomplishments working with the indigenous people of Mindoro and Mindanao. Of course, it's hard to expect regular people to care when we have a president who wouldn't miss the opportunity to take a picture with Dao Ming Sz, but would gladly snub the awarding ceremonies of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards.

But despite Gloria, we ought to care about what people like Haydee Yorac and Benjamin Abadiano have done, if only because, as people who care about our country deeply, they're the people we ought to be looking to for inspiration. Because, as much as we care for our country, it would always be too easy for us to think about giving up on it.

It would be too easy for us to just throw our hands in the air and ask what the point would be. But then, we could look at the things people like Haydee Yorac and Benjamin Abadiano have done, and think about how much they've done, how far we've come, how it's not alright to waste all of their efforts, and how all of it is still worth continuing. That would be the point.


Nung nakita ko yung portrait ni Haydee sa Inquirer last week akala ko si Michael V. hehe


ey, thanks for writing down these important stuff. . . so what's the deal with aga and charlene anyway? hehe. . . but it is really good to know that there are people like Atty. Yorac who keep their idealism in spite of what's happening to our country. this may sound really cheesy but the main reason i'm here in this cold, bum-infested place is that i aspire to someday make a difference in that beautiful country of ours,like Ms. Yorac is trying to do(contrary to popular belief na ang main objective ko ay mag-papa. . . short-term goal lang yun). thanks again!


ah basta di ko binoto si GMA...hehe

Pero seriously, it's good know that those few who are actually doing a good job in the government are being recognized, even though not many know of it. It's sad that it's reached the point where we've become so used to the corruption in the government that we no longer do anything about it, we just shrug our shoulders and go "eh ganun e". At least with the award given to Atty. Yorac, there's a chance someone might read or hear about it and think that if someone is still continuing the fight and getting actual results, maybe there's hope for us yet. All it takes is for the right people to start thinking this way...


hey jona, dahil wagas naman ang intentions mo sa pagpunta sa cleveland...

sabi nila, nagkaroon daw ng affair si aga at kristine hermosa during the shooting of their movie, kaya nagkahiwalay si aga at charlene. hindi lang nila ma-publicize ang hiwalayan dahil sa endorsements.

of course, aga and charlene came on tv last sunday to deny all of it. hehehe.


nasa columbus po ako:). grabe talaga yang si kristine hermosa, mas bata pa sa akin e ilang marriage na ang nasira. . . on somewhat related matters, totoo bang maghihiwalay na rin si jlo at marc anthony? hehe.


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