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Feature: The mystery named Angelo does it anew

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (3 April) -- SOME BELIEVED he was plastering his way to a clean rout when he throws his hat into the political arena.

But acknowledged Boholano king-maker and philanthropist Angelo Balili again proved he is simply the angel of mystery still beyond fathom.

Last week, again, he breaks every bias people would have forced on him as their stereotype of a consummate political power broker.

A power broker he may be. But a ruthless one like anybody else, he is not.

Even with the vicious business climate at the lofty suites in a Makati skyscraper, there still lives a power broker whose unbent principles still unfold before him as clear as day.

Lately, the man who has showed profound faith and deep religiousity typical of a Boholano has seen the terrible mistake in Bohol's political situation.

I will constantly learn to settle down on saying "No" to what is wrong even if all around me are saying yes, he told the gathering chief executives at the Bohol Tropics.

"If I can do something for the Boholanos, I will" and "I will work for the betterment of man in service, regardless of the costs", he shared.

But that Thursday afternoon last week, 18 of the 19 mayors from Bohol's third congressional district and the local media saw a teary eyed Balili apologizing for failing the popular demand for him to finally go for the seat, now served to him in a silver platter.

"I hate to disappoint you, but I am not going to compromise my principles, I will shield my name from dishonor and shame, my word as is sacred as my honor and my name".

Balili, a Makati City based executive has been pushed to dominate the congressional seat left vacant by a graduating solon here.

The successful Boholano who used to be president of the Boholano Association of Metro Manila Inc. (BAMMI) and who has spent millions for Bohol has shown himself as the clear epitome of discipline by showing excellence over the easy path of mediocrity.

The speculations on his gunning for the seat came after he took a moist eye on the same seat but has to step back to hand it to an incumbent who asked him for one last term in 2004.

Groomed by at least ten mayors whose candidacies he personally bankrolled, Balili even breached the limits to expand his influence while dipping his pockets for the remaining 9 towns needing financial support.

Bruited so many times to be running for the district high seat, Angelo has been a popular refuge when the need comes. And he never fails to deliver.

This shapes in Bohol a rare time when a non-political benefactor has lumped 18 mayors under one banner, 18 who could solidly anchor a district wide bid and translate it into solid votes.

But the man was a bit of an angel, and so, last week, the mystery man who has bankrolled the candidacies of a good number of mayors for humanitarian and socio-civic reasons spins deeper into his mysterious self.

Other than unadulterated love for Bohol, (which may sound too fool-hardy patriotic) what would push a man to do such without counting the costs?

Assuring the mayors who have rooted for him, Balili said, " I will be loyal to those I committed to even if it would be so easy for me to betray them.

To those I have committed myself, I will still be there, he told the mayors whom he may have vowed to help fund their candidacies now.

"At the end of the day, the Boholanos would remember me, not of the positions I held, but of a Boholano who has helped them change their lives, he ended. (PIA) [top]

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