The last time I was able to interview senator Gringo Honasan was three years ago, it was when he was running for a seat in the senate. Back then, I was just getting to know the person behind the military uniform.
I felt how passionate he was in serving the country while he was in the military, understood why he went against the Cory administration, and saw his soft side. Our initial meeting was a lighter one compared to the recent, it reminded me of the interview he had with Lourd de Veyra and Juns Sabayton for Wasak. It was light, informative, and raw. We talked about his family, his hobbies, and some interesting stories like how he evaded the government and eventually losing a finger in the process (which he still keeps in a bottle).
Our recent acquaintance was a more serious one. We talked about, laws, reforms, platforms, national issues, and the election. After three years, he still has the same built which proves that he still has the discipline he acquired from the PMA. Unlike other generals whom you see has put on some weight. If you notice, most of the military officers (General Versoza, General Garcia, General Purisima, and more) that were accused of corruption have big bulges on their tummies and has put on a lot of weight. It just goes to show that the lost their discipline. On the other hand, officers who went to served the government as an elected official remained fit (Lacson, Biazon, Trillanes, FVR, Enrile, Honasan, etc). I’m not generalizing and I don’t claim to be an expert on anything, but as a fan of Mr. Holmes, I believe it shows a pattern.
Senator Honasan, although serious when it comes to issues and politics, his family, most importantly his grand kids, has unleashed his soft side. Having said that, we started asking questions Boy Abunda style – fast talk, as he requested. We mention a topic or issue, then he answers with what he has done about it and his future plans for it. Some of the notable issues which I am concerned about were:
- West Philippine Sea – He approved of what the government has done, bringing it to the International Tribunal is the best thing to do. He added that we should also be prepared to defend our selves, strengthening our armed forces. We should also revisit and asses our relationship with the ASEAN, VFAs and EDCA.
- Population – He is pro-life and he believes that we deserve the right to reproductive health.
- Income Tax – He approves of lowering the income tax
- Yes to Freedom of Information
- Safety and Security – Senator Honasan stated that security starts with us, in the community. We should protect our community as we are protecting our family. Help the police and the government by reporting any suspicious person in the community. Start from the community and it will make an impact and create change in the nation. He demanded stiffer penalties for illegal and unlawful possession and manufacture of firearms and explosives.
Senator Honasan also talked about corruption, traffic, employment, HIV/AIDS, and a few more national issues. He also tackled as to why he chose to run as VP for Binay despite the accusations of corruption.
“I decided to run because I am the Vice President of UNA. The party I am leading and helping organize after running in 4 recent national elections as an independent…”
“…I do that for your generation and my own children, the changes must happen between elections, it will be given to you by UNA, not just the Vice President Binay or any personality. I want to help a party that will organize and present a platform for the future characterized by party discipline. Actually I don’t think we even have a party right now, you name me a party supporting this or that. If our candidates do not make these changes between elections, people will have national impatience, and go into national self help. If you don’t want to do these changes, the people will do it and call it People Power. There are a lot who say people are already tired of doing it, maybe, and now I ask for your help and your precious time to take it out there.“
He was not there to convince us to vote for Binay, nor promote him. He actually didn’t mention him until he was asked. He believes that he is still innocent until proven guilty and people should not base judgement from what the media feeds us. Meeting the first time was more about knowing him and understanding him as a soldier, rebel, and a family man. Meeting him the second time around was about learning from his achievements, his plans and his dreams. He urges us to unite and live the dream of a better Philippines.