THE SMILING FOREHEAD: A Stairway to Heaven: Daughter’s Letter To Jun Evasco

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews /26 Oct) — The name of Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco has become part of my family’s Dinner Table Conversation for the past months. My daughter in college is quite obsessed about this farmer who became a priest who became a rebel who became a prisoner who became a mayor who became a political campaign Manager who became a Cabinet Secretary. His political mind is quite out of our time, my daughter told me. The man can identify, incubate and empower a David to kill a Goliath.

I have seen my daughter lately Googling the internet on the subject of Kilusang Pagbabago. And to my nightmare, she is starting to ask me questions at the dinner table which I find very hard to answer.

I have written this letter to ease my burden on the incessant questioning heaped upon me by my daughter. I am hoping that the dear Cabinet Secretary in Malacanang would read this and will take pity to answer and pacify the heart of a fan who is my daughter and so that a tired working father can have his dinner in peace.

Dear Secretary Evasco

Allow me to begin my letter with the usual salutation. Amazing Sir, how to be you po? Metamorphosing from oblivion to being the man of the hour is beyond imagining. How to be you, sir, keeping your balance and empathic self while traipsing from the most radical extreme into the most legitimate and public position of responsibility at the opposite pole that you are now? But please do not get me wrong. Mine is not about dwelling on personal issues or raving over biographic details.

Peace be upon you, sir. I marvel at the opportunities and possibilities that are brimming in your lap and dripping from your palms at the moment. Towing a string of 12 strategic offices of social services with great impact on people’s well-being is not a walk in the park. And this thought stresses me. What could I do to make you succeed?

Participatory Leadership Ladder

Offering this unsolicited help, I constructed this ladderized index of building participatory leadership, hoping to aid as evaluation tool. Of course, I am more ambitious than that, I could mean to build you a stairway to heaven where there are no more poverty and corruption. But for the time being I could only wish the success of your initiatives to rally the genuine do-gooders toward a Movement for reform. I am unembarrassed to declare that my questions like my adulations over your efforts are incremental and skyrocketing up to the stars. And I have to have answers to my own curiosity because I am quite sure I will be falling head-first and abandon reason anyway to follow your Caravan of No Despair (Yes. I am quoting Jalaluddin Rumi there).

My wanting to know more are on matters regarding your war against poverty and anti-corruption campaigns, especially if you are taking along the right army with you.

  1. Awareness: Are the Mother Theresas, the Gandhis, the Che Guevaras at the grassroot barangays aware that there is such movement called Kilusang Pagbabago?
  2. Identification: Does Sec. Evasco have filters/ criteria on identifying them? Will these saintly characters reach out to Sec. Evasco
  3. Incubation: Can Sec. Evasco incubate such characters if he found out that such men and women geared for social initiatives don’t yet exist? Will he incubate such characters needed?
  4. Empowerment: Do these grassroots characters have tools to accurately DIAGNOSE the “DISEASE” of Corruption, Criminalities and Poverty on the ground? If Sec. Evasco can assemble and provide them the CURE, can they implement it successfully?
  5. Dangers: Traditional Politicians, traditional Civil Society Orgs, Bogus Associations and Fly by night cooperatives are fast forming to hijack this Kilusang pagbabago/ Biyaya ng Pagbabago. Can Sec. Evasco side-swipe them?
  6. Methods of Communications: Is there a way for a Gandhi or a Mother Theresa to reach out to Sec. Evasco directly? How flat is the Communication Hierarchy of the Office of Participatory Governance?

This 16-year old daughter of mine keeps on begging me to visit Malacanang whenever the OPG turns into a reality. I do not have the money to buy her the plane tickets. Writing letters like this is much more practical. Thank you and I am hoping you read me, sir. My forehead smiles at the prospect.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Hadji Al-frazier S. Ahalul, 45, is a Tausug entrepreneur, partly owning and managing a famous café and watering hole Dennis Coffee Garden in Zamboanga City. He is an active member of the Jama’ah Tableegh and considers himself a jester in the court of Bangsamoro politics)