Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Death of a Friend

You know, there are news sources and there are friends. The late La Paz Mayor El Bernos is a friend and as much as possible I don't report about him. Not that he's not newsworthy. He is very outspoken about violence in his native Abra that some of my colleagues have been fearing for him. He is a very idealistic man not only because he's young but he is tired of hos Abra is being run.
He has to have a posse of bodyguards but when we see each other he makes it a point to have only one bodyguard. Bernos is a man with a mission. He knows his place in history but he is also reluctant to plunge into it.
He is a voracious reader (also voracious) and sometimes that's all he did. Eat. Sometimes read and not talk. We ahd fun with his FHM collection and how he wanted them all to be autographed by the covergirls.
Some people say that he was fearless but I know he was also fearful. There was a time when he thought a person coming to him was an assassin (this was in Baguio) and he muttered, Daytoy san (This is it!). Of course, nothing happened and we had a laugh with that one. The real "daytoy san" came treacherously. He was shot on the nape. We know El's enemies. And one of them is a drug-addled psychopath. I am also not surprised if it was a local political rival who killed him.
One drunken time I told him, someday you will rule Abra but I will not envy you. He said softly, I know.
To the mayor of Peace, Abra. Farewell. I am weeping even as I write this. Ukenana met, El. We could have changed the world but not this way.


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