This occurred to me last Friday when I attended the retirement ceremony of Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna.
Hearing the highly-esteemed Chief Justice Reynato Puno extol the legacy of the retiring Adolf Azcuna
, as if in awe, narrating Adolf's landmark decisions and initiatives - I could not help feel that here we have a great Filipino bowing out of public service and only the cognoscenti will know what we all owe him.
Among the many landmark ponencias that Adolf Azcuna
contributed which improved tremendously the administration of justice in our country are the Writ of Amparo, the recent decision that Cpl.
To highlight his
patriotism, Adolf Azcuna
dissented from that decision on executive privilege.
In a country where utang na loob (debt of gratitude) weighs a lot, Adolf Azcuna
proved that he
could resist favoring the Malacanang Palace resident who appointed him to the Supreme Court if doing the right thing called for it.
Unless you are naïve, you'd do well to regard as friends of convenience those who you meet whilst walking the corridors of power.
Although I maintained that sober attitude during the Cory Aquino administration, I must admit to being fortunate to have made lifelong friends.
was one of them.
I met Adolf
through Elfren S. Cruz, former PMS (Presidential Management Staff) Secretary and Metro Manila Governor.
and Elfren are sterling examples of the kind of leadership that Cory Aquino wielded - recognizing the effective, technically equipped, strong, silent workers and trusting them with some of the most sensitive positions in the Office of the President.
What immediately struck me about Adolf Azcuna
was his unaffected manner of occupying the powerful and sensitive positions that Cory Aquino entrusted to him.
From those Malacanang Palace days up to now, Adolf
and Mariazun Azcuna (Azun is Adolf's bitter half, oops I mean better half) still reside in their BF Homes Alamanza house.
I can never forget one unusual situation that took Adolf
to resolve during the Cory years.
Desperate to resolve the issue, Elfren ran to Adolf
for help on how to decide which government agency had jurisdiction.
finally resolved it and the clearing operation got underway.
The aircraft being on the expressway, the Metro Manila Commission
was tasked with its removal.
I was surprised and felt privileged when Adolf
deviated from his
prepared speech during his
retirement ceremony and talked about me and the memories we shared during the Cory years.
What to me was help which I'll gladly extend to a friend, Adolf never ceased appreciating the help I gave him when he was Press Secretary, Presidential Spokesman and PCGG Chairman.
needed my advice on how to avoid the landmines that naughty media men can plant along the route of public officials.
Many of us were touched when Adolf acknowledged that he followed the advice of his former law professor to pray first for the Lord's guidance before he pens a decision.
To us who know Adolf Azcuna
, there was no doubt that he
did just that.