CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Members of Pampanga Provincial Board (PB) denounced Governor Eddie Panlilio and his supporters for branding them, Malacañang and the poll body as “dark forces,” saying the acts are “un-Christian.”
“We condemn the actuations and utterances of Governor Eddie Panlilio and his camp as un-Christian,” said the PB members led by Vice Governor Joseller “Yeng” Guiao.
Their reactions came after Panlilio and the Kapampangan Kontra Recount (K2R) said during a vigil at Capitol grounds that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and other officials, including the august body, were part of the “forces of evil” that connived to win a favorable decision for former board member Lilia Pineda.
The Comelec Second Division promulgated last February 11 its Resolution 2007-04 declaring Pineda as the real winner of the 2007 gubernatorial race.
“In 2007, we witnessed how the forces of evil summoned all resources at their command to thwart the Kapampangan’s will for change. Today, three months before the synchronized national and local elections, the Comelec decides to rob the Kapampangans of their 2007 victory. This midnight decision is obviously a devious handiwork of those in power. They will do everything to seize power to ensure that they perpetuate themselves in power. Sadly, it is power unduly earned. It is power that does not emanate from the people,” Panlilio’s camp said.
The priest-turned-governor and his supporters vowed during the vigil to continue the fight against the “forces” and defend the crusade for good governance.
The same sentiments were echoed by the group during the “Lakad/Takbo Laban sa Dilim” led by running priest Robert Reyes, together with Panlilio, and second district congressman wannabe Adonis Simpao as they braved Pineda’s bailiwick Lubao two Sundays ago with members of the Provincial Youth Welfare Office.
Guiao initially dismissed the accusations as mere “emotional outburst emanating from the hurt and pain brought by the Comelec decision.”
But on Tuesday, the PB, spearheaded by Senior Board Member Crisostomo Garbo, denounced the “actuations” of Panlilio and his camp as without basis and “un-Christian.”
“The statements were uncalled for and without basis. Who supports him but us? Who approved the budget and development fund he requested in 2007? And his requests in 2008? Same thing in 2009. Wasn’t it this august body who approved them and which led to the many accomplishments he is boasting of right now,” he said.
Garbo said not a single centavo was disapproved by the PB, even as it had to put “collatilla” on some requests like for salary increases and benefits that included the wages of Provincial Administrator Vivian Dabu.
“Are we evil and devious in the eyes of our constituents whom we serve? We have supported him despite the impasse between us. This is the first time in my long years with this august body that such a high person in authority, who says he is for good governance, has not manifested respect for one another. He lacks humility. To be a good leader, he must have humility. I believe his words should not have been directed at us,” he said.
Second District Board Member and Association of Laborers and Employees (ALE) founder Catalina Bagasina, in disbelief, said: “Lahat ng hinihingi nila ay binibigay namin. Pero siyempre hindi naman agad-agad dahil kailangan naming pag-aralan iyun. Pero kami ang boses ng taong bayan at sinuportahan naming siya.”
She pleaded that in this season of Lent, such accusations should never be made again as they add-up to the pains of the Lord.
Third district Board Member Rollie Macalino, for his part, corroborated Garbo and Bagasina’s statements, saying the actuations were without basis and that it was simply now an act “to forgive and forget.”
But Guiao said: But how can we forget someone who is not asking for forgiveness? I am very sad about this because even if we discuss issues heatedly, we have never branded the governor and his camp with any names,” he said.