He is the real deal.
Niňa Terol, described in her Facebook and LinkedIn profiles as a communicator, connector and changemaker, vouched for the intelligence, capability, and integrity of Senator Bam Aquino.
Aquino, a member of the Liberal Party and who belongs to the minority block in the Senate, is aspiring to be reelected for a second term in the 2019 midterm election.
Terol said that he first met the young senator twenty-two (22) years ago when they were in their sophomore year at the Ateneo De Manila University. The two of them were elected to the student council albeit coming from opposing groups.
“Even back then, he was already brilliant, hard-working, creative, and fun to work with… and it was no surprise that he eventually became student council president in 1998-1999,” Terol wrote in Facebook.
Terol, who was elected secretary-general of the council in that same school year, claimed that she became a fan of Aquino even if they belong to different parties.
“While we came from opposing coalitions, even back then he was already a magnanimous leader who bridged political lines for the sake of what was right and what was best for the students,” she quipped.
Terol commended Aquino for his work as chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC) and as leader of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) which the latter co-founded with Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
“I saw first-hand their work in empowering youth organizations and in bringing people power to life in schools and communities,” she said.
Terol mentioned Dynamic Teen Company of Efren Peňaflorida as the first organization awarded by TAYO. Peňaflorida who is popularly called “Kuya Efren” is the country’s first CNN Heroes awardee.
When Aquino decided to run as senator in 2013, Terol was asked to join his campaign team. She said that this is an invitation that she cannot refuse.
“By this time, he had already gained global recognition for his trailblazing work with Mark Ruiz in Hapinoy, the social enterprise that has been giving ‘nanays’ access to capital, mentoring and management support, and a proven business model to build their sari-sari store businesses–and, more importantly–build their lives and dreams,” Terol shared.
Hapinoy is now one of the top social enterprises in the country that were able to empower 2,000 microentrepreneurs all over the Philippines. Thus, through Hapinoy, Aquino and his associates were able to provide real impact in the communities.
“But we needed someone like him in the Senate, to bring in his blend of management, development, and social innovation work to policy-making and governance,” Terol stressed.
Terol, co-founder and chief fireball of Kick Fire Kitchen, proudly cited the work of Aquino in his first term as senator and as a neophyte lawmaker and public servant.
True enough, as the youngest senator that was elected in 2013, Aquino filed and authored hundreds of bills thirty of which were passed and became laws.
Thirty laws in just five years.
“If you know how legislation works, you know how DIFFICULT it is for a bill to become a law. It takes a lot of commitment, diligence, resourcefulness, hard work–and, of course, the brains are a given na,” Terol stated.
“Before you judge Sen. Bam simply for riding on his surname, do your research on how many LAWS (not bills) the other senators have passed in just five years. You’ll see why Sen. Bam Aquino is an outstanding legislator who does the hard work and doesn’t just ‘make papogi’ in photo ops or just spews out soundbites on media,” she continued.
Saying that the Filipino people deserved the best public servants in government, that we deserved leaders that will help us navigate the challenges of the present time, Terol said that Aquino has a deep sense of empathy for those who need it most and at the same time can bring “world-class, innovative knowledge to drive our national policies.”
Terol pleaded to those who have prejudged Aquino not to be influenced or affected by the wrong impression or bias that they have with the senator.
“Be fully informed about why you would (or wouldn’t) support a true, hard-working, honest, and people-centered public servant like him,” Terol said.
“If you want a leader who walks the talk, Sen. Bam Aquino is the real deal,” she declared.