Magsaysay commits: ‘I will be a servant leader for and with the people’

Former Senator Ramon Magsaysay has vowed to be a “servant leader” to the Filipino people and put public interest over his own as he profusely thanked and expressed his family’s appreciation to revered Dr. Jose Veloso Abueva for his second book on the political achievements of his father, the late President Ramon Magsaysay.

“It was a difficult endeavor. That Dr. Jose Abueva took pains to write the first book on my father’s political heritage, ‘Ramon Magsaysay: A Political Biography,’ which was published in 1971, was already heart-warming. To do a sequel, after 41 years, is really overwhelming for my entire family. And we are truly grateful for his hard work, and patience to finish this 2nd book, ‘Ramon Magsaysay: Servant Leader with a Vision of Hope’,” said Magsaysay.

Magsaysay acknowledged the hard work that the esteemed educator put into researching and compiling the political achievements of his father and the long hours he spent interviewing people to gather information on his personal and political beliefs and his unique leadership.

“My family is most humbled by Dr. Abueva’s determination in completing his 2 books on my father’s brand of political leadership. He could have spent more time being a husband to his wife and daddy to his children during the 3 years that he consumed instead researching facts and information about my father’s legacy to the Filipino people. He could have used the last few years playing with his grandchildren rather than writing this sequel. For all the time that he devoted writing these books, much more the efforts and the expenses, our gratitude is boundless,” he added.

Magsaysay lovingly recalled: “My father the late President Ramon Magsaysay loved his people. And his people loved him back. He placed the plight of the public – their needs, their demands, and their welfare over and above its personal interests. He sacrificed political popularity to ensure the Filipino people’s right to decent lives and to protect them from injustice. He ruled our nation with a heart.”

“His sudden death following that fateful and painful plane crash on 17 March 1957 left not only our family but the entire nation grieving. For me and my sisters – Mila and Teresita – we lost a father and a brother. For my mother, she lost not only a husband, but her best friend, too. And for the Filipino people, they lost a ‘servant leader,’ just as the esteemed author of my father’s political biography, Dr. Jose Veloso Abueva, called him,” he said.

Dr. Abueva defined a “SERVANT LEADER” as someone who leads by example, by action, by the quality of this life. A servant leader, he described, is measured by the number of people he reaches and serves.

“As a public servant myself, it is my greatest dream to be someday called as a servant leader like my father. This is a challenge that I pose to myself today and a commitment that I make to the Filipino people, for it is for the Filipino people that my father had worked and strived to be a servant leader for and with the people,” Magsaysay said.

The ‘Ramon Magsaysay: Servant Leader with a Vision of Hope’, the second book written by Dr. Abueva on the political achievements and brand of leadership of the late President, was launched on November 14 at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City. The book was published by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation.

The launching was attended by the Magsaysay family, among others former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and his sister Mila.