Dispatch from Crame No. 117: (Sen. Leila M. de Lima on former colleagues and friends)

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Among my occasional visitors and well-wishers are two (2) of my dear colleagues in the PNoy Cabinet—Sec Dinky Soliman and Sec Ging Deles. They came again this afternoon.

Each visit from these fine, kindhearted women would, invariably, buoy up my spirit, as we reminisce about the good, not-so-old days of feeling proud and privileged working for a decent and honest Chief Executive.

We also talk about current issues and events, sharing feedbacks and insights on the goings-on in the current bureaucracy. And as we do that we can’t help heaving a collective sigh of consternation—what have we done wrong as a people to deserve this nightmare of a twisted governance?

But at the end of each interaction, we hold on to our kindred sense of hope and positivism that all these will surely pass. Dreamers, we are.

Very selfless and deeply committed in their respective core advocacies—Sec Dinky for championing the rights and welfare of the poor and underprivileged, including street children and abused children, and Sec Ging for her visionary push for a genuine peace process—while acclaimed by the academic and professional sectors, and foreign institutional partners, have largely been unheralded by the general populace.

Both are passionate advocates for women’s rights and human dignity. These model servant-leaders are the pioneering spirits and workhorses of certain milestone initiatives—Sec Dinky for the Pantawid Pamilya or 4Ps. Sec Ging for the CAB and proposed BBL. Any President, i.e., a good one, would be fortunate to have these exemplary women in his/her stable of alter egos.

Two smart women. Two brave hearts.

I’m extremely honored to be associated with them, previously as fellow workers in government and now, as true friends.

Finally, to all my former colleagues in the PNoy Cabinet, and of course, to PNoy—I miss you all…

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