I HAVE been asked by friends abroad about the basic contrast between Among Ed and Nanay Baby.
Under the first, I said, Pampangos experienced governance under a “patriarchy”. The Nanay naturally will rule under a “matriarchy”.
Our cabalen has known how the governor-patriarch, if he had his way, would impose a life of celibacy, obedience and chastity in the Capitol. The nearly three-year governance under regimented convent-rules is evidently nearing an exit.
With Nanay Baby I can visualize the Capitol will be in a showbiz mode. She was shown jamming with a rock band like a noon time show talent. Seriously, just like the events after storming the Bastille, she promises to govern with “fraternity, equality, and liberty.”
The core group of Governor Panlilio’s supporters and sympathizers are optimistic of a favorable ruling on his motion for reconsideration. Our cabalen at large think otherwise. It is seldom that the Comelec en banc reverses the decisions of its divisions based on recent promulgations.
Even if she has not taken her seat as the proclaimed governor, Nanay Baby is on cloud 9, relieved and feeling vindicated by the decision. Generally the Pampangos (Apu Ceto, too?) have accepted the inevitable. Most of them are now excited as to when Ms. Pineda will assume the Capitol seat.
Pampangos have had a taste of the Panlilio governance. They are now curious how life would be in the province under Nanay Baby.
A foretaste of the “happy days are here again” theme has marked the birthday and victory celebration of Nanay Baby last Sunday at the Lubao central school.
Some 4,000 guests and well-wishers led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attended the twin celebration. Bulk of the visitors were Pampanga barangay council officials who came with their municipal mayors and party leaders who cheered and rooted for the celebrant and governor-declared.
“It was a combined fiesta and victory gathering to honor a conqueror”, said the poet Macky Pangan who monitored the event for a report to his boss, Doña Lolita who is vacationing in the US.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Bong Revilla led the guests from Metro Manila and the two extolled PGMA for her leadership and achievements.
“Abac na,” proudly shouted village official Ben Dimalanta of Barangay Towking, Porac, a colloquial expression that the dawn has come to welcome change and hope from a new administration. “Abac na pin!” chorused the well-fed crowd.
The next day Nanay Baby met Pampanga media for a press conference at her residence. She fielded questions from news people and this is the gist of her remarks.
She has discovered how much valuable time is lost when the governor personally attends to even minor or urgent request for all types of assistance all week long. “Because of endemic poverty, barrio residents from far flung barangays and the not too remote swamp the office of the governor with requests for petty cash assistance, medicine, or medical attention. The people demand action on their little but myriad problems on health, agriculture, roads, school buildings, jobs and education,” she said.
She will organize an Action Group whose members shall be assigned as special liaison in each barangay to monitor, attend, and receive all requests of any kind. She will provide computers to link the villages to a central station in the Capitol that can speedily process the problems or requests asked. This will obviate the villagers and residents from expensive trip to the Capitol to air their problem as well as save the governor from the heavy time demand on all seekers of assistance daily.
She said most problems of the local government units are largely about health. The district hospitals will be streamlined and fully equipped with basic life-saving devices, available supply of medicines and drugs. Liaison officers will be assigned to all these hospitals to oversee their efficiency and performance. Madame wants a sense of order and discipline in her governance.
The Vice Governor, this case the Honorable Yeng Guiao, will be kept active and shall take active role over infrastructure, resources, and investment promotion. Full budget support to the Vice Governor’s office will be extended.
With “Congresswoman” Gloria Arroyo, Governor Pineda will spearhead interaction and coordination with Clark-Subic free ports, the Diosdado Macapagal Airport to continue Mrs. Arroyo’s development initiatives in these zones. Together they will align Pampanga development to the growing investments in the Clark area, specially.
Pampanga businessmen will have a voice and active involvement to the growing in the planning and formulation of economic polices in the provincial government, she said.
With Guiao by her side, Nanay Baby planned to have Capitol projects bid out with utmost transparency, equitability, and fairness to all concerned. Guiao will play a major role on infrastructure development. Yeng is Madame’s general who draws and executes game plans at the provincial board. Her right hand man, former board member Rosve Henson is the frontline political tactician and efficient commander of the Kambilan brotherhood. He will be the incoming provincial administrator.
Aides of “Governor” Pineda later introduced her businesswoman-daughter Mylene Pineda Cayabyab to the press. She will be next mayor of Lubao, after her brother Mayor Dennis who is expected to be elected to Congress via Party List sector “Talinong Pinoy.”
Comelec-declared winner in the 2007 gubernatorial elections of Pampanga Lilia “Nanay Baby” Pineda celebrated two milestones in her life.