Opinion: A Time to Mourn
The untimely demise of the late Sangguniang Panlungsod Member Nilo Alejandrino of Bacolod City, who had indicated before he died of his fond wishto retire gtom eotk before the yearend, was indeed a sad commentary that has evoked not only sadness and melancholy but a lot frustrating for many of his friends and admirers, much more his family and allies in the government service, considering the circumstances and constroversies that preceded his final moments in office, after having served the city government of Bacolod with honor and distinction for a period of 24 years.
It is regrettable that a dedicated and hardworking functionary like Atty. Alejandrino should end that way: Having to pay dearly with his life what he honestly believed should be done for him to fulfill the mandate of his office, and do what he was supposed to do even during trying circumstances, under threat of being suspended or dismissed, standing up for what he knows is right.
The case involving him and Councilor Caesar Distrito must have deeply devastated him that has led to what his close associates termed a "depression," "frustration," or perhaps "nervous wreck."
Deprived of his retirement benefits, suspension and eventually dismissal from service, perpetual disqualification from hisgovernment employment, among others, what would you think and feel at 58? Do you deserve such horrible punishment after having spent the best years of your life in the service for country and people? What’s more painful is that, his case was not fully resolved and justice eluded him even until his final end.
No wonder, even his friends and acquaintances noticed Nilo’s deteriorating health condition during his last days in this world. Not long after, the usually jolly and soft-spoken lawyer had become reclusive and moody. For a week, he found himself confined at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center (formerly Bacolod Sanitarium and Hospital), the no-nonsense lawyer finally gave in to the call of his Maker on April 14, 2012 (Saturday) at 5:00 p.m. Today and in the next few days, the once tough-talking action man of the Bacolod SP and former legal counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Iloilo City lies in state at Rolling Hills Memorial Chapel, silenced forever and in peace with the Lord, oblivious of the heartaches and inner pains brought on him by no less than some of his own colleagues and fellow public servants in that august body, where in life, he nurtured as his refuge and virtually his second home for the last 24 years. Finally, Nilo Alejandrino returns to the bosom of his Creator - in Heavenly Peace, Divine Love and Eternal Forgiveness.
Once nurturing a heavy heart, Atty. Alejandrino leaves this world but his lament may not be the last. There are others like him similarly situated still nurturing their own aches and pains, but who must wait for their own sweet time to be able to make an impact upon the living, to serve as wake up call for the many who are too proud to realize they, too, are sinners who come short of the glory of God. May the light shine upon them and may they be enlightened as to lead our people towards righteousness, forgiveness and reconciliation. Without these virtues, they do not deserve a place under the sun.
Let us ponder on all these as we focus once more on the lessons of Nilo Alejandrino’s life, his own sacrifice and strength of character as a public servant. Let’s focus on a time to mourn for the sake of his own sacrifice. Who knows? Someday, it will be our turn. Pray we must, but we must not tarry, for all we know, our heavenly appeal may come too late in the day.*