By Alexis Romero
MANILA, Philippines – If we lose our idealism, what will happen to us?
Kapatiran party senatorial bet Marwil Llasos raised the question after enumerating what he believes are the ills that plague the country today – political dynasties, corruption, and traditional politicians.
Some may point out that there is nothing new about such rants and that many have tried but failed to address them.
Llasos, however, believes such cynicism would not yield anything good, as it discourages one from doing something for the country. Such idealism prodded him to seek a Senate seat, a task easier said than done as he is going against more popular and moneyed rivals.
Llasos, a lawyer who describes himself as “an educator by heart,” said the senatorial lineup of rival coalitions prodded him to run.
“What made me decide was when I looked at the roster of Team PNoy and UNA (United Nationalist Alliance). For me, they are the same banana. They are the same players or the relatives of these players,” Llasos told The STAR.
“Throwing my hat in the political arena is my way of giving a credible choice to the voting public if they are sick and tired of traditional politicians we encounter in the political circus,” he added.
Llasos noted that political dynasties have been in power for a long time yet problems like poverty remain.
“Our leaders have failed us. Instead of providing us with a party system that has integrity, they acted as sports promoters. They combine candidates whom they think will win,” he said.
Llasos’ legislative agenda includes the freedom of information (FOI) bill, anti-dynasty bill and the abolition of pork barrel, which he views as a source of corruption.
He said the FOI bill would promote transparency and deter corruption, while the anti-dynasty bill would provide opportunities for public service.
“The Constitution prohibits dynasties. Politicians are insulting the intellect of the public when they assume that they alone can serve the people,” Llasos said.
Llasos is also opposed to all forms of discretionary funds, saying that lawmakers are not supposed to act as contractors.
At 37, Llasos is one of the youngest senatorial bets in this year’s elections. A pure-blooded Bicolano, Llasos was born in 1975 in Daraga, Albay.
His father Wilson was a witness in the Agrava Fact Finding Board which probed the Aquino-Galman double murder case in 1983. His mother, Marichu Nacor, is a former migrant worker from Sorsogon.
Llasos graduated cum laude from Bicol University with a degree in political science. He finished his Master of Arts in Public Administration with a grade of 1.2 in the same university in 1998.
Llasos obtained his Master of Law from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in 2010 and studied for his Post-Graduate Diploma in Humanitarian Law at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in India.
He also taught economics, constitution and law subjects at Siena College in Quezon City and in Bulacan.
The Kapatiran senatorial bet has work experience in the field of legal education, corporate law, litigation and development and alternative law.
While a lawyer by profession, Llasos is a consecrated Dominican lay preacher who teaches catechism in urban poor communities and prisons.
The original article is published in Philippine Star on April 1, 2013.