Missing the legendary Chito Bacani

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    HE COULD have been the best congressman Pampanga’s first district never had, indeed the best President the Philippines could have been deprived of.

    Chito Bacani, the man whose every election campaign I unconditionally supported, is dead. And Pampanga, if not the whole country, is all the more lessened for this loss.

    In September 2011, Chito was the first to cast the stone on the candidacy of Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao, declaring himself the “far better choice… the one that will give the incumbent a run for his money.”

    And bombed Guiao for “below par performance…as the coach was always not around for the people.”

    “Physical presence is the basic thing a public servant must give his constituency. As Guiao is short in this, dapat mag-basketball na lang siya,” so Chito concluded.

    One more congressional run was not to be this time as sickness overtook his overriding desire to serve his people.

    I don’t know what prompted me, but in October last year – well over a year after Chito’s last foray in Punto’s news pages – I wrote:

    SO YOU think politics is more fun in Angeles City with this slugfest between Mayor Ed Pamintuan and his challenger Cong. Tarzan Lazatin?

    Think again, how much more fun it would have been with my favorite Chito Bacani thrown into the ring.

    Think some more how the lackluster contest between the all-too-quiet Blueboy Nepomuceno and the clueless Yeng Guiao would be spiced up by Cong Chito’s entry into the fray.  

    Ah, Cong Chito’s mere presence, by the sheer power of his intellect, would have – unarguably – raised the level of discussion high, high, high above the gutter of the guttural, out of the vise-grip of the visceral, out of…

    whatever…Suffice to say a towering intellect Cong Chito most definitively is.

    Who among the presidential candidates of 1998  but Cong Chito could have come up with the most brilliant concept of a “gravity train” with nothing – not electricity, not fossil fuel – but Newton’s law powering such conveyance between Angeles City and Manila?

    Or, the flat rate of P5 bus fare from his beloved city to any point in Metro Manila and vice versa?

    Or the declaration of Angeles City – again! – as the exclusive enclave of all nightclubs and adult shows, all casinos, and the establishment in Clark of the largest cockpit in the whole world, with a seating capacity of 100,000.

    Distinctly do I remember the same brilliance coming to the fore anew in his 2010 congressional run.

    Ranged against Cong. Tarzan and the pretender Ares Yabut, Cong Chito had the distinction of solely having a solid legislative agenda, with the corresponding focal persons for their implementation, to wit:

    Agendum 1: Provision of a stimulus package, ala President Barack Obama, whereby all indigent families will be given a monthly subsidy ofP1,000 each and senior citizens, P500 each. This to increase their purchasing power and spur greater economic activity.

    Focal persons for this agenda: Angeles City Councilor Dr. Ruben Maniago and senior citizen coordinator Dinong de Guzman.

    Agendum 2: Opportunity to the citizens. Any high school graduate, of good moral character will be given notarial powers, in the execution of contracts, agreements and deeds of sale.

    Agendum 3: The establishment of state crematories and free burial services, including coffins and burial lot.

    Especially crafted with the Ampatuans in mind.    

    Focal person: Balibago Barangay Chair Tony Mamac.

    Agendum 4: Termination of the contracts with the local government units of the transport terminals in Mabalacat, Angeles City and the City of San Fernando.

    Focal persons: Attorneys Pinggoy Lopez, Bryan Nepomuceno and Pogs Suller who will prepare the temporary restraining order to be filed in court by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez and Vice Mayor Edwin Santiago in San Fernando, and Marjorie Morales-Sambo in Mabalacat.

    Agendum 5: Institute the doctrines of the Iglesia ni Cristo as mandatory in the educational system to instill in the youth love of God, parents, and country.

    Focal persons: Secretary Ed Pamintuan and Mayor Boking Morales.

    Agendum 6: Reduction of the value-added tax from 12 percent to 8 percent to ease the burden on the citizens and the businessmen.

    Agendum 7: All inmates too poor to post bail to be released from jail to the custody of the barangay chairmen who will be directly responsible for their subsequent court appearances until final verdict is handed down.

    The very antithesis of the soloing politico, Cong Chito’s approach to legislation is collegial and coordinative.

    Witness the focal persons he affixed in many of the above agenda. And mind, those listed above are no pushovers in their respective fields of endeavor.   

    So have we come across such gems of proposed legislation from any other congressional candidate, not only in the first district but even in the entire archipelago?

    A big NO there, as only the supremely intelligent Cong Chito could come up with such thought-provoking ideas.

    With Cong Chito out of the elections for 2013, the first district, the city as well,  is deprived of a most brilliant mind befitting its ablest representation.

    What opportunities we missed there. To our utter, irreparable loss.

    q q q

    AYE, Gray’s very Elegy could have been precisely dedicated to Chito Bacani –      

    “Full many a gem of purest ray serene
    The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:

    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air…”

    And the closing epitaph most apt –

    “No farther seek his merits to disclose,
    Or draw his frailties from their dread abode
    (There they alike in trembling hope repose),
    The bosom of his Father and his God.”

    Rest in the peace of the Lord, my friend. 

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