Last night, we met as the KN Core group to talk about how we will continue Sec. Jesse’s work and communicate this. As we went thru the meeting, I cannot help but make a mental inventory of what I learned from him and how he shaped my perspective of Good Governance.
Until now, there is a big clamor to get to know him. A friend went out of her way to visit me to get a copy of a video interview of Sec. Jesse the other day. In facebook, expect to get many ‘likes’ when you post stories about Sec. Jesse.
I think the clamor to get to know Sec. Jesse emanates from the fact that many have taken him for granted while he was alive and working towards good governance. When he left us, as huge gouge was carved out of our hearts. This is deepened further by the fact that he became a face for governance that has remained elusive to us thru so many leaders. Suddenly we are left wanting and struggling to understand him so that we can somehow keep something of him to measure our future leaders by.
Cenacle Sister Bubbles Bandojo, in an email, said, “Been thinking that if this death has affected me so much to the point of shedding tears, how much more those of you who worked with him directly?” She went to one of the Kaya Natin memorial services in Ateneo and she said, “I came here, drawn. I feel like getting to know him thru his friends.”
A day before that, Fr. Melo Diola of Dilaab movement called me to to ask if we can have a memento of Sec. Jesse.
Fr. Tony Labiao of St. Peter’s Shrine and one of the convenors of Clergy for Good Governance said, “I thank God for giving me a chance to get to know him and work with him.” Fr. Tony organized a mass at St. Peter in honor of Sec. Jesse.
But even before he died, he has been working to move local governments towards meaningful & participative approaches in governance. His leadership in Kaya Natin prompted us to engage mayors in order enable them to improve their Public Education programs by developing their Local School Boards. In the past year, Kaya Natin Movement has engaged almost 92 mayors from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
By next month, Kaya Natin will also be engaging more local government execs to improve their Public Health Program thru the Local Health Board.
Sec. Jesse also took the initiative and engaged the clergy in seeking allies towards good governance. While in Ateneo once he spoke to me and said, “Let’s help them. They are a force multiplier in good governance.”
Sec. Jesse’s letter and MOA can be seen here:
In the document above, I can see that He had a deep appreciation constituency building. Sec. Jesse had a keen knowledge of the dynamics of citizen’s participation and governance. He knew that a good leader is not sustainable without good people actively engaging.
When I spoke to Fr. Tony, together with Alex Lacson, who is also part of the convenors of the group, they said that the group intends to build good governance constituency on the Barangay level. They hope to have at least 100 good governance advocates per Baranagay.
One of Sec. Jesse quote already made famous in facebook said,
“Whenever you feel alone in this fight for good governance, work harder to multiply yourself.”
Apparently, that’s what Sec. Jesse has been doing all along.
When I think about Sec. Jesse, I cannot help but compare him now to Sen. Ninoy Aquino and Pres. Cory Aquino. I think about what they symbolize and who they are to me.
NINOY lived and died for FREEDOM. CORY lived and died for PEOPLE POWER. JESSE lived and died for GOOD GOVERNANCE.
What would you live and die for?
Comments are welcome at [email protected] or private message through Facebook. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @jesslorenzo for stories of good governance.
Jess Lorenzo is currently the program director of Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership's public health initiatives. www.kayanatin.org @kayanatin on Twitter