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Opinion

Bimbo Fernandez: Continuing Service at 71, from 17

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

While at the seminary, he made a promise to serve God and people.

At 17, Francisco Fernandez started as a community organizer, first, with the Cebu Archdiocesan Social Action, later, with many non-government/government organizations.

Now at 71, with 54 years of genuine public service, Bimbo decided to be a candidate for vice mayor of Cebu City. Why?

Bimbo had organized/assisted farmers in Carcar, the urban poor of OPRRA, salesgirls in Cebu City, sugar workers of Bais, and despite being arrested during the Marcos dictatorship, proceeded with community organizing.

With others, Bimbo founded the Pagtambayayong Foundation which pioneered social housing by organizing and assisting illegal occupants of residential lots purchase the land from their landowners.

Bimbo continued to be a community organizer/trainor in between work at the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), National Home Mortgage, as City Administrator and as DILG Undersecretary.

Bimbo continues to actively network with CSOs (civil society organizations), always in the service of the poor/needy as guided by these words of Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti:

“It is an act of charity to assist someone suffering, but it is also an act of charity, even if we do not know that person, to work to change the social conditions that caused his or her suffering. If someone helps an elderly person cross a river, that is a fine act of charity.

The politician, on the other hand, builds a bridge, and that too is an act of charity. While one person can help another by providing something to eat, the politician creates a job for that other person, and thus practices a lofty form of charity that ennobles his or her political activity.”

Bimbo filed his candidacy for Vice Mayor last October 4, 2021 believing that “Transformative Politics is part and parcel of our obligation to love God and neighbor and that politics practiced with integrity and dignity is a noble profession.”

This decision surprised many, including those within his family.

In his words:

“I have no money. am running alone, without a slate, without a strong political party backing me up and am 71 years old. Why am I running? Am I crazy?”

His reply:

“I have so many unfinished agenda: the urban poor await safe/adequate/affordable. so much corruption/incompetence to solve while many are sick/starving, our children malnourished.

Many already know my capability and character. What they have seen of what I have done and am continuing to do should matter much more than what I say.

However, there are some, especially the young, who do not know me. This is for them.

I will run and give the people a choice.

As a democracy, sovereignty resides in the people.

Ang gahum anaa sa katawhan.  Ang Pilipino nilampus ug nakapapahawa ni Marcos sa 1986. Kaya nato!!!

WALAY KWARTAHAY! WALAY HULGAAY!

WALAY ILARAY! WALAY CORAP!

And should we fail, it is better to try and fail rather than not try at all.”

Bimbo is offering to continue this 12-point platform of genuine public service for all Cebu City constituents and for protecting God’s world/our planet:

1) Dignified Life through Decent Work and Livelihood; 2) Quality Education for All; 3) Security of Tenure, Land, and Housing Rights; 4) Health is Wealth; 5), Promote Inclusive Development for Social Accountability; 6) Make Public Utilities Accessible and Affordable; 7) Monitor Law on Ease of Doing Business; 8) Partnership with Cooperatives; 9) Promote Women’s Development Agenda; 10) Partnership with Churches; 11) Environment and Ecological Protection; and, 12) Green Economy that Generates Food and Jobs.

Today at 2p.m, Bimbo’s Movement for Transformative Politics will start their Freedom March with mass at SM City Block 27 before joining all others for the Leni Grand Rally at Mandaue’s Reclamation Area.

GOD

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