Fortune & Misfortune-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
THE truncated political aspiration of renegade priest Eddie Panlilio is a fitting subject of Kapampangan history.
If history is only a record of crimes and misfortunes, according to Voltaire, the adventure and travails of Among Ed belong to the latter niche.
The former governor is like the serial gambler who made his millions and lost them. He is back at the gaming table to win a second time. That, again, will be another misfortune.
If Among Ed had harkened to the advice of his habitual critic, the fiery journalist with the perpetual Arabic scarf around his neck, he could very well be a fantastic and bankable candidate for vice governor.
Dreamers, like Panlilio, are often divorced from reality. Most people believed that he should have aimed for the silver medal with the best chance of winning rather than going for the gold and face certain defeat.
In all probability had Among Ed declared his intent for vice governor, the Governor's son, Dennis, would not have aspired to be his mother's runningmate. That Panlilio decided to fight a lopsided battle that not even the gallant Mayor Oca would try is Delta's great fortune.
Panlilio dreams of a moral and political reformation at the provincial government. He wants to guard whatever gains and development he had initiated as governor. He aspires to fiscalize the Pineda administration, militate against abuse, and secure the millions in pesos in quarry revenues from misuse.
No Pampango will object to these ideals. If he could not make it as governor again -- which most Kapampangans concede -- he could realize a greater part of these as Vice Governor which most people believed.
Governor Lilia Pineda is the star for all seasons. What makes Among Ed think he could beat the Nanay? He told Radyo Patrol news the province has "two lords: one in jueteng, the other in quarry. Now the people want a praise-the-Lord!" the ex-priest simplified his campaign line.
Surely, Panlilio's administration was good. Pineda's better, certainly. The lady is proving that the best is yet to come, vowing her next term will be great.
Had Panlilio chosen to run as vice governor and won, he would be a counterfoil to the Pineda administration. As putative presiding officer of the Sanggunian, he may be outvoted in every turn, but he could speak his heart out. He may expose, oppose, and denounce what he would perceive any wrong doing. This is democracy at work.
His foreboding presence at the Capitol would be the effective lever in the balance of power.
With the SP members allied with the Governor, Among Ed will be a voice in the wilderness. But he can articulate public concerns, protect public interest specially by safeguarding the integrity the treasury.
While this tendentious mission falls on Among Ed, the way to his destiny, however, does not seem to lead nearer the Capitol. He has taken the road less traveled by which may bring him to another misfortune.
After all the charges and counter charges, the suits and counter suits between City Mayor Ed Pamintuan and Rep. Lazatin, to Angelenos the larger issues boiled down to only one-- the age and experience of Lazatin against the youth and performance of Pamintuan.
Residents admire the wisdom and political savvy of Tarzan but love the vision and dynamism of the city mayor who celebrates his natal day on Saturday.
Tarzan's inability to join a recent kilometer-walk for unity among local aspirants was exploited by the PAK. "It revealed his true physical condition," they said of the less ambulatory congressman. In sabungan lingo, if the Cong were 10 years younger, "eman sumugat" i Edpam, I can say without fear of contradiction.
A Lazatin leader retorted: "One kilometer does not decide a ten-mile race."
Happy birthday, Mayor Ed! Start practicing for the next nine miles.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 21, 2013.