A Filipino

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    I am a Filipino. Also a Negrense, Ilonggo and Kapampangan; partly Spanish, French and Chinese; and, anecdotally, part Yemeni via Borneo. In other words, a genuine “askal.”

    Here’s my fact sheet:

    · grew up in Bacolod and spent my vacations in Baguio. From my college years till now, I’ve lived mostly in Quezon City.

    · worked mainly for large corporations in an executive capacity; in non-profit organizations; and for myself as an entrepreneur.

    · served in the cabinets of two presidents, Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos, to head the Department of Tourism and the Department of Interior and Local Government, respectively.

    · experienced life-threatening emergencies on land, in the air and at sea, and survived powerful natural phenomena that shaped my mindset for risk reduction and crisis management.

    · worked for peace that brought me to comprehend our history of exclusion, deprivation, entitlement, impunity, injustice and conflict.

    · been to rebel territory to bring the message of peace and, at times, to danger zones.

    · tackled crime and corruption with legal offensives; and came to grips with foreign terrorists to help save lives.

    · seen poverty up close – Metro Manila’s slums; the rural, coastal and upland poor of ARMM, Samar, Negros and the Cordilleras.

    · tackled poverty through peace and order campaigns in consonance with the principle that peace precedes sustained development.

    · fought the dictatorship to seek justice for its victims of repression; reclaim the future; restore freedom; and, later, defended it when it was threatened.

    In time I got to understand geopolitical issues; the importance of interdependence; and what it takes to build a nation.

    Tried and tested

    In 67 years of existence, I’ve been tried by fire and tested by time. My mission is to serve, to matter and, hopefully, make a real difference in people’s lives.

    Public service came at a great cost. During those years, I endured virtual separation from my family. Much of my time was spent at work including weekends and holidays.

    The family hardly felt my presence. My wife was alone to rear our children. Thank God, my mother, a widow, helped us selflessly. It was a tough time.

    Government’s compensation was modest and not enough to meet my family’s needs. I left it poorer than before I began. My peers were far better off upon my return to private life.

    Giving back to society in gratitude for all the help received is what I do today – sharing lessons learned; investing in education; and assisting disaster victims, youth at risk and poor communities.

    I serve freely; don’t count the hours; and strive to walk my talk by living up to the values I’ve learned.

    I’m a Catholic with an ecumenical outlook; a centrist that moves from left to right of center depending on the issue and circumstances; and a democrat with a firm hand.

    I deeply value my acceptance by indigenous tribes in the Cordillera and Sierra Madre, and conferment as a datu and sultan in Mindanao.

    I belong as well to the military community – PMA Class of 1974, PNP-Special Action Force, and the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) and First Scout Ranger Regiment of the Philippine Army.

    I hold the rank of Colonel in the Armed Forces and commanded two (2) Army Infantry Reserve Divisions.

    Through their veins run the DNA and saga of the Filipino nation, and I’m both proud and humbled to be brought into their circles.

    National security, ranging from human and ecological security to civil and national defense, is close to my heart. Today it is at risk.

    Duty calls us to run to Inang Laya’s defense, but we also welcome the help of our economic partners and security allies as we patiently build credible deterrence.

    If we are to win the future, we must first strive together to place “country above self” to have a peaceful, prosperous and progressive nation with no one left behind.

    We mustn’t be deflated by our continuing failure to make things right, when we’ve already shown in the past that we can. Instead, we must demand results.

    We should overcome our apathy; the lack of vision, purpose, discipline and foresight; garbage; traffic; street crime, drugs, poverty, systemic corruption; and the lack of critical thinking.

    Change

    There are solutions for those problems that ache to be implemented. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

    To lay the groundwork for change and conclude unfinished business, we need to:

    · regain our moral moorings and reinvent the way we think and behave.

    · generate new wealth while spending wisely.

    · adequately secure ourselves from internal and external threats.

    · amend the constitution to grow a balanced economy, reduce poverty and reverse the diaspora.

    · right-size, professionalize and modernize the bureaucracy.

    · defeat crime, injustice and corruption in high and low places.

    · fortify peacemaking with good governance, firm law enforcement and human development.

    · restore national pride.

    That said, I offer my self as candidate for the Senate in 2016.

    Building a national base for new politics takes time in terms of advocacy and organizationbuilding based on integrity, service and merit.

    The majority of voters –mainly the youth, D and E segments – who, most of all, need a better and secure life, don’t know who I am.

    And, so far, there is no antidote to electoral cheating by PCOS and corrupt gatekeepers that has serially thwarted the people’s choices.

    These formidable obstacles must be surmounted to clear the way for honest elections.

    Thus, if and when circumstances allow, I will be ready to serve the nation again in a capacity that matches my experience.

    I am Rafael “Raffy” Alunan III. I am a Filipino.

    Mabuhay and God bless!

    P.S. I was lucky to receive a La Sallian education and have Jesuits as spiritual guides.

    Superb combination!

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