Paco and Noynoy are fruits of great trees

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag -

By now, almost everyone must have heard about the latest developments concerning Francisco Juan "Paco" Larrañaga, one of seven young men meted life sentences in connection with the 1997 abduction, rape and murder of the Chiong sisters, Jacqueline and Marijoy.

But this piece is not about Larrañaga in connection with that most heinous of crimes, considering that I do not know much of the facts surrounding his bid to be allowed to serve the remainder of his prison term in Spain, owing to his being half-Spanish.

I am just using Larrañaga to try and shoot down the fallacy of certain arguments being aggressively and persistently pushed by some people in the increasingly highly-charged political atmosphere, especially the one concerning the potential candidacy of Noynoy Aquino.

Those who have not followed or were never aware of the Chiong sisters rape-murder case may not know that Larrañaga belongs to the influential Osmeña political clan on his mother's side. He is in fact a great grandson of the late Grand Old Man of Cebu, Don Sergio Osmeña Sr.

I am bringing this up to underscore the fact that not every great tree produces great fruit, which is the argument being pushed by certain sectors to force Noynoy Aquino to run for president.

Noynoy Aquino is the only son of martyred opposition leader Ninoy Aquino and former president Cory Aquino. Both former leaders made significant contributions while alive that will make them perhaps unmatched as a couple in the annals of history in this country.

But just because Ninoy Aquino was a great political leader and Cory Aquino was highly regarded as a clean and honest president does not necessarily imbue Noynoy Aquino with the right kind of genetic mix that will make him the great leader that this country needs.

And nothing can prove this more starkly and convincingly than Francisco Juan Larrañaga, the great grandson of Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. Both Paco Larrañaga and Noynoy Aquino are descended from great genetic pools. They have the kind of pedigree that is hard to match.

But the blood that runs in their veins obviously is not enough insurance of their quality. This is just as true in humans as it is in animals and plants. Not all the fruit from a great mango tree can be perfect in taste, color and texture.

I have always thought that the uniqueness of every person has become a jaded truism because of its unassailability. I have always thought that virtually all people have submitted themselves to this fact.

And yet, all of a sudden, here come some people now pushing Noynoy to run for president on the assumption that he is good material solely on account of his parentage. And I find it simply ridiculous to describe Noynoy using praises that reserved exclusively for his parents.

These people say Noynoy will be great because his father was great. And he will be honest because his mother was honest. Oh yeah. Tell that to Thelma Chiong, the mother of poor Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong.

If these people are really earnest in selling Noynoy to the Philippine populace, they should start by describing Noynoy as himself -- his track record, his leadership skills, etc., instead of presaging what kind of DNA will emerge from the hair on his armpits.

But my guess is that they cannot do that. And this betrays what these people really are and what they want. They just saw an opportunity to hitch a free ride on the popularity of his dead parents, in which case they are just paying lip service to reform and change.

What kind of reform and change are they promising when they can't even force themselves to admit that underneath all this self-righteous breast-beating is a fired-up eagerness to take over power, now that power is within reach.

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