Finally, an intellectual in the person of professor now honorable Walden Bello, has officially joined the Philippine House of Representatives, adding the word representative to his already long list of titles.
To the uninitiated, Walden Bello is a scholar, activist, writer, teacher, mobilizer, thinker, orator, manager, and leader, to name a few. His biography further describes him as a human rights and peaace campaigner, academic, environmentalist and journalist. He is the president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, national chair of the party-list Akbayan, executive director of the Focus on Global South that he also co-founded and professor of public administration and sociology at the University of the Philippines. On 27 April 2009, he was sworn in as the second representative of Akbayan.
I remember Walden Bello as the best professor I had in college. He is bright, enigmatic, passionate, eloquent and above all, really intelligent. Our class in political sociology is always tense you can feel the energy pulsating because of his oratorical flair in describing, debasing and debunking all arguments for free trade GATT-WTO style, IMF’s recipe for destruction: privatization, liberalization and deregularization, elite democracy, autocratic regimes, US’s hegemony, and other hot (current) and not-so-hot (past) topics on global and local political sociology. His lectures are always a call for action of sorts, it is always moving, provocative and enraging.
He lectures like he was reading from a page of his book, or of another author’s- vivid and animated, entertaining to some extent. Debates are fixtures in his course syllabus, where competing teams are pitted against each other as if they are government representatives in Bretton Woods or civil society protesters in Seattle.
Members of the present congress should watch out for more of Walden Bello’s wit, wisdom and wrath, of course.
As for us pundits and observers, stay tuned for a wonderful show as Walden Bello, the ertswhile communist come face to face with the oligarchy he very much abhor.
And personally, I expect Walden Bello to write another insightful book, this time, about his first hand experiences of the workings of our so-called House of Representatives.