My good friend, Raul Roco, is dead at 63. He is said to be the best president the Philippines never had and will never have. In the 2004, he was certainly the best in the field that included Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Fernando Poe, Panfilo Lacson and Brother Eddie Villanueva—in terms of professional preparation, dedication to public service, competence, integrity and vision. He knew where to bring the country—as a developed economy, and the capital to bring it about—human capital, the people themselves.

I first met Raul during my high school year while attending a leadership training conference for student leaders in Baguio. He strode into the lecture room and immediately created a stir. He was so guapo, so charming, so warm, so eloquent and so intelligent. He had this smile on his lips that was at once captivating and engaging. His eyes spoke sincerity. He looked tall, imposing but not at all arrogant.

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