More than being my Accounting 1 professor in NCPAG, Ma'am Boncodin, as we students called her, taught us actual life lessons and stories in government, dealing with people and her job as a Cabinet Secretary.
I remember one instance during our Accounting class a few semesters ago, when she had to miss almost the entire class because she was interviewed by Korina Sanchez. It was at the height of the "NBN ZTE Brouhaha". After that, with almost only 30 minutes left for class, she cried to us. She cried because of her sincerity and her passion for this country. Allow me to quote part of my post last February 2008:
She explained to us the procurement system of government, where it is open and transparent. She blames it on us, Filipinos, because we let this thing happened. We weren’t “extra extra extra to the infinity” careful.
She told us that “ang mga pinag-aaralan ninyo, mga binabasa ninyo, wala ‘yan. Those things you’ll learn if you go into the bureaucracy.” What she can say is that, “never second guess the bureaucracy.” She’s angry at those people who keep on criticizing the government, the bureaucracy. She continues by saying, “you don’t know what it is to be in the bureaucracy. Unless you actually been in the bureaucracy, you don’t have the right to say those things.”
She also said that she’s sympathizing with Secretary Neri. She knows that he’s a good man, but right now, he can’t really get out of it already .”He boxed himself in.”
She didn’t sign the plea of the past cabinet secretaries, calling for the present cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, etc, to resign. According to her, “they’re barking up the wrong tree.” Others shouldn’t suffer for the mistake of one, or the few. “Wala naman silang kinalaman.” She adds, “You know, there are a lot of good people in government. The sad thing is the ones who’re not good are always the ones being seen and featured.”
She ended by saying that “someday, you will make that choice.” You will have to choose “one way or the other.” There’s no neutral. You have to choose.
This is the most recent picture I took of Ma'am Emy Boncodin. I asked her to pose with a paper crane. It is to symbolize hope, a wish, for a clean, honest, peaceful elections this May 2010. Her hopes for the future of this country and its people shouldn't go to waste. I think the best way to honor her and her memories is to live it, to protect our vote and to ensure that this election pushes through cleanly, honestly and peacefully.
She has done her part, now let's do ours. I felt like I lost a hero and an "adviser," but her memories are dear and precious, and will hold them close to my heart. I am proud to say that she's my idol in government. I hope others follow her example.
I will update you on the plans of UP and or the National College of Public Administration (NCPAG) regarding tributes or masses (if there would be any) soon.
UPDATE FROM NCPAG: Necro for Emi Boncodin today (March 16) at de la Strada Church. Mass at 7pm, necro at 8pm. Inctegov necro tomorrow. DBM necro Thurs.