FORMER Congressman and cabinet member Mike Defensor is back, running for the AnaKalusugan, the first party list group whose advocacy is to push for health and wellness benefits for the populace as priority in the government’s agenda. He is the second nominee, along with Atty. Adorlito Ginete (former mayor of Sta. Teresita, Batangas) as first nominee and former PNR general manager Ower Andal as 3rd nominee. AnaKalusugan has been serving for 10 years now, starting with the Klinika ng Bayan in Sto. Tomas, Batangas that offers free consultations, diagnostic test, medicines and treatment.
“Our aim is to give first world health services to our countrymen,” says Defensor. “We want to offer free full medical check up, which is very important because poor sick people are afraid of going to private diagnostic clinics which can be very expensive. Prevention is better than cure. Then, we aim to remove the 12 percent value added tax from maintenance medicines and vitamins, have more public health professionals and give the right salary and benefits to Barangay Health Workers. We’ll also make sure that people who pay monthly contributions to Philhealth will be able to use this effectively. We’re number 47 in the ballot.”
Mike Defensor was only 25 years old when he first became a congressman who’s part of the so-called Spice Boys consisting of young politicians. At 31, he became the youngest cabinet member and later, presidential chief of staff. He then focused on his own private businesses and in helping his wife Julie Rose to bring up their five kids. Their eldest, Michaela Francesa is now taking up law at the Ateneo. His next two sons are studying in London and the last two are both girls. One is a high school student in Assumption and the youngest is only 3 years old. He has a beautiful anecdote about his second son, Miguel.
“He is now a daughter,” he says. “They called me once to their room at nag-iiyakan sila. His Ate told me that Miguel has come out and admitted that he’s gay. He was so scared, but I went to him and hugged him. I accepted her right away and told her that the most important thing is for her to be a good person, not her sexual preference. I know na kapag may rejection or repression, it will only have a bad effect on her. Last year, she said she wanted to have a debut, so pinagbigyan ko siya. It was her official coming out party. She arranged it all herself and you can check it out on Youtube.”
Because of his being a very understanding and loving dad, Mike earned the admiration of the LGBT community.