Raul S. Roco, 63

Swiped from this link. Atty. Bo Roco is seen here above his father.
Pia is not in the picture, as I have verified.
The PCIJ and INQ7 report that Raul S. Roco, former Senator, former Secretary of the Department of Education, former Congressman and partner of then the Roco Bunag and Kapunan Law Office, passed away at the young age of 63, after a lingering illness.

I’ll leave the accolades of his public life to the others. I personally did not know and did not have the privilege of meeting him.

What I do want to talk about is the legacy he will leave behind. His children.

I’ve met and are friends with two of them. The first one I knew was Pia, was my college and law school classmate. The second, Bo (Robbie Pierre), my classmate in high school BJ and I just became law partners just a few months back. He was even my lawyer in my custody case.

Suffice it to say that both of them carry the Roco legacy that would do their father proud, as the nation remembers the Honorable Raul Roco as the “president the could have been great.”

Rest in peace, Honorable Raul Roco. Your legacy is in safe hands. I know.



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3 responses to “Raul S. Roco, 63

  1. Punzi,

    I knew him personally. I used to work for him in his law firm. I have a small honoring for him in my blog. He was a great man.

  2. @ Dawin: Yes, he was. And it is fortunate you got the chance to know him that well.

    Just an update. I went to Dela Strada today with a neighbor and Sen. Roco’s officemate during their stint as Sen. Ninoy Aquino’s staff. Of course visiting Sunday morning comes with a heavy price. I only got to see Pia. Bo and her mother went home. But people do visit the remains immediately after attending the mass. So the crowds will surely swell as this day progresses.

    The final mass (before going to Naga City) will be at 8:00 p.m. tonight. This is the final chance for Manila to pay its final respects to this great man.

    Peculiarly, Sen. Roco’s remains will neither be brought to the House nor the Senate. So they just sent their honor guards, instead.

  3. Likewise, I never knew Sen. Raul Roco. The only person I know from the Roco clan is his niece, Ruby (Roco), whom I went to high school with.

    Indeed, he was the best President the Philippines never had.
    During his political sorties, one account said that, “Roco could only offer hope when people demanded money or entertainment.” It’s hard to understand why we do not elect the most capable leader in the Philippines anymore. As one writer put it, it seems that now the majority of the Philippine voting public would “prefer personality over character, cash over competence, popularity over purpose.” Is it just poverty and lack of education? How about the rich and the educated who did not vote for him? Self-interest perhaps.

    Too bad that he got sick during the last leg of the elections. And yet serious as it was, it never slowed him down. Asked whether he could still serve as President despite his illness, he pointed to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the great U.S. Presidents who led the country on a wheelchair.

    I wonder if the Philippines will ever have a leader like him again, principled, brillant and never seemed to have been corrupted by the culture of corruption. Apparently, leaders like him are few and far between. Most of them have come and gone. It is the end of an era in Philippine politics. As another writer wrote, “he was in the class of the late Sen. Claro M. Recto.” I admire the man. He reminded me of Pres. Ramon Magsaysay (another person taken from the country too early).

    Roco would have made a great President. He had in him the stuff great leaders are made of. Sadly, it was not to be. In his death bed he still expressed love for the Philippines. He said, “Kawawa naman ang bayan. Ang bayan kong sawi.”

    As I read about what’s happening to the Philippines now, I agree with him… Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas.

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