Truly his brother’s keeper
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
“He’s not heavy, he’s my brother”.
That was the caption accompanying a photograph taken by a soldier of a young boy in a war-torn country who was carrying a child, almost as big as he was, away from the danger area. When the soldier tried to help, the boy declined, saying simply, “He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.”
The photograph and the story went around the world then, and sometimes it still gets published in some exhibits of the most striking war photos. The picture, and its meaning has stood out, not only because of the innocent statement of the young boy, but because of the message it continues to bring to mankind.
It came back again yesterday, when the news of the death of Congressman Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo was confirmed by his family. Arroyo, who had served as representative of the Fifth District of Negros Occidental, had left his mark in the many projects he had implemented in his district, and in the way he was accepted by his constituents.
But, to the country, in general, Iggy Arroyo could be compared to that little boy, carrying a burden as big as himself, in the way he defended his brother, and took on the responsibility for matters and misdeeds being attributed to his sibling. In so many serious charges against his brother, who happens to be the husband of the second woman to become president of this country, “Iggy” Arroyo was there to take the blows. Even up to the time when he was reported to be seriously ill, and unable to come back to the Philippines from London where he was under treatment, he still managed to answer back when the issue of the helicopters, allegedly sold by his brother to the military, came up.
Without a doubt, Congressman Iggy Arroyo would have laid his own life on the line for his brother, a virtue few possess, especially in the world of politics. But he was a rare man, a rare family man, who will be missed by those who knew him and admired him.
May his soul rest in peace.*