Monday, July 26, 2010

By Julius Fortuna – East and West

Journal – July 28, 1999

We won’t let the week pass without writing about Raul S. Manglapus, foreign affairs chief in two administrations, senator since we can remember, founder of the Christian Social Movement (CSM) and chairman of the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP.

Congressman Heherson Alvarez, in a statement released on Monday’s SONA, put premium on Manglapus oratorical prowess.

Manglapus may truly be of the last breed of men who practiced oratory as an art form, a reputation that is known in Southeast Asia.

It was said that ASEAN foreign ministers always demand that Manglapus be placed as the last speaker in every regional forum because no one else would listen after he spoke. In one critical meeting Manglapus was tasked to make the opening speech to persuade Sihanouk to accept the ASEAN peace plan for Cambodia. That performance, in our mind, was one of Manglapus’ finest moments.

Manglapus, in the worlds of Alvarez, was a "towering giant of intellect, mind and spirit," but we will try to summarize in this column his core beliefs.

First, Manglapus wanted a world and country guided by Christian democracy. He started this crusade in his Grand Alliance which he used to run for president. He was frustrated in this bid. But in 197, he continued his crusade with the formation of the Christian Social Movement.

Our generation was on the other side of the ideological spectrum, condemning the CSM as a foreign-and Church-inspired movement meant to confuse the issues. But Manglapus, was not daunted by this criticism, pursuing his goal through the National Union of Christian Democrats.

Second, he was an exponent of political pluralism. His dream was to install a political system that completed in terms of ideological programs and not with personalities or celebrities. We suspect he is really for a parliamentary system. But he could not pursue this goal because of political considerations.

In economic reforms, he was for a mixed economy which meant that he was partly socialist and capitalist. My impression was his economic thought were undeveloped because – in his writings – he could not specify which sector should be sate and which part private.

One thing is certain though: He was for "land reform in an emotional way. He adopted the slogan of land for the tiller but he wanted it carried out within the constitutional system.

My impression was that he wanted a country peopled by a large middle class that would be created through land distribution.

No comments:

Post a Comment