PGMA should learn from a Fil-Am Mayor in California

On the eve of Valentine’s Day at a Town Council Meeting in Colma, California; Claro “Larry” Formalejo, the city’s first Filipino mayor, shocked the dozens of citizens in attendance when he publicly announced his resignation from his mayoralty post.

In his opening address during the meeting, Formalejo said he is resigning from office because of conflicts in his “ethical obligations”. He said, back when he was still a City Councilman in 2006, he requested Colma police authorities to extend special assistance to his 21 year old son, Dustin, who was arrested for drunk driving.

“I took some actions that may have been perceived as in conflict with my ethical obligations” Formalejo told the San Francisco Examiner.

His resignation drew mixed reactions from the Colma community. But most of them are united in saying that Folmalejo’s resignation is an honorable act. City Attorney Roger Peters even told the Examiner that Formalejo did the right thing, if only “to avoid any perception of improper behavior.”

Indeed, what Formalejo did was an honorable act that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should learn from and emulate. She should follow Formalejo’s lead and resign from office out of delicadeza.

Arroyo did things way beyond what Formalejo perceives as conflicting to a public official’s “ethical obligations.” His act when he asked for special favors from the Colma Police for his arrested 21 year old son, pales in comparison to the long list of “ethical” violations of Arroyo, her family and her minions in government.

But still, and amid all the political scandals that grip our nation today, its refreshing to know that there still are Filipino public officials (though overseas as in the case of Formalejo) who holds dear the age old Filipino trait of delicadeza.

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