Two of the few good men and women
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-05-01
In my March 25, 2007 column, I endorsed three senatorial candidates from the Kapatiran Party — Zosimo Paredes, Adrian Sison and Martin Bautista. I drew a parallel between them and the 300 Spartans who valiantly fought the battle which they knew they could not win.

Once again, I’d like to take this opportunity to advocate two others — one is running for the Senate and the other is running for Representation of the Second District of Davao — Sonia Roco and my tokayo Billy Aportadera. Both aspirants are no economic and political fortune-hunters, both have established honorable track records and needless to say, they can be trusted. Sonia Roco
Sonia is more than just the wife of a great man who I supported for president in 2004 — Raul Roco. At the time when Raul was gaining recognition as a student leader, Sonia captured hearts as a campus rave, combining both beauty and brains. No wonder then that a man known for high standards like Raul would be enamored with someone like Sonia.

Sonia was a consistent honor student. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Quezon City as magna cum laude and was awarded the Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines distinction in 1964.

Very few people know about Sonia’s theater background. She has taken Speech and Drama in London and had honed her craft as a form of cultural expression, acting in plays and musicales on her return to the country.

But theater and acting for Sonia are expressions of art, culture and humanity, rather than an opportunity to delude audiences to buy into the ulterior motives of showbiztocracy. To the end, she backed the yearnings and vision of her husband, who was lamented by media as "the best president we never had" when he died.

After earning a masters degree in Communications Arts and in Social Psychology from the Ateneo University, Sonia then co-founded "Our School" which is a center for Early Childhood Education of the Ateneo Psychology Department. Sonia also established the Live and Learn Preschool at Loyola.

Recently, some quarters criticized Sonia for referring to Team Unity candidates as being "autistic" and having a world of their own. I think that the bigger injury was having anyone at all being compared to Team Unity candidates. It seems that the regime had capitalized on this non-issue to forestall any further advance of Sonia’s rank in the surveys which shows her within reach of the magic 12. Disabling Sonia would be helping many of the miserably trailing Team Unity candidates. Abelardo "Billy" Aportadera
I’ve known Abelardo Aportadera since he was a Commissioner of Human Rights during the Cory Aquino administration. Also known as Billy, my tokayo is running for congressman of Davao’s Second District under the Liberal Party — the real Liberal Party of Frank Drilon et al.

Billy is a product of the Ateneo University, a certified Blue Eagle and certainly one who will be expected to stand firm against the mutated Blue Vultures coming from the same university and now engaged in national plunder. Billy attained his AB in Behavioral Sciences and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the Ateneo in 1969 and 1973, respectively. He was a University scholar and graduated with the Silver Medal for Academic Excellence. He took his Law Masters in Columbia University in New York, USA — specializing in the Law of the Seas, Corporation Law and Human Rights. Billy was a University scholar in Columbia University, just like in the Ateneo.

Billy further expanded his specialization to include Constitutional Law (we’ll need him to fight another attempt to ram Charter Change down our throats), Law on Public Offices, Anti-Graft and Corruption Laws, Civil Law, Corporation and Banking Laws.

From 1982 to 2006, Billy Aportadera taught Law in some of our most respected law schools which included the Ateneo University, the Supreme Court Philippine Judicial Academy, Far Eastern University and the University of the Philippines.

Billy Aportadera also took up private law practice and writes a legal column for the Davao Sunstar. He was a Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights (1986 to 1989) and the Assistant Ombudsman from 1989 to 2001.

He became the first Filipino lawyer to file a petition and request for the Writ of Habeas Corpus via telegram in the 1983 case of Rolieto Trinidad et al versus Gen. Alfredo Olano et al. The High Court honored the petition sent via telegram and that set a precedent in Philippine jurisprudence.

Both Sonia and Billy represent superior credentials. Few Senate candidates can match Sonia Roco in intelligence and actual contributions to her education advocacy. Few candidates for Congress can match Billy Aportadera’s mastery of the law, particularly those that are critically relevant to resolving many of our country’s problems.

But more than qualifications and credentials, their hearts are in the right place. They are our people and not the lackeys of economic interests or political warlords.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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