Arceo: Vox Populi

The final count of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is 668,787. The winning digits for the Pampanga governorship in the last May elections. This is about 59 percent of the voting Kapampangans who favored Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda.

The Comelec Second Division recently released a 10-page ruling on a protest case filed by Pineda’s contender, former Candaba Mayor Danilo Baylon. Yes, he did file a protest after garnering 465,704 votes. He alleged that there were “irregularities and massive-voting” during the elections. But the Comelec disagreed and declared his protest as “Insufficient in form and content.”

“The non-specification of the material facts such as names of the persons involved, the time of occurrence and the precincts where the allegations transpired render these averments blatantly unjustified and groundless,” said Second Division Presiding Commissioner Marlon S. Casquejo and Commissioner Rey E. Bulay.

The majority of the people of Pampanga have spoken - they still trust Pineda. The rule of the sovereign is the very essence of a democratic state and nation. Election results could be unfavorable to others, but the wisdom of the majority must be respected. For politicians and aspiring leaders, the concept of democracy shall be their enlightenment if only to help mend their broken egos and weeping hearts. If you are part of the game, you must accept the consequences and rewards, for that matter. One must not holler foul when beaten fair and square. Why is it fair and square? It is because no matter how much money you give a person to vote for somebody, still, that person has the free-will to choose among the candidates.

There is one truth that Baylon failed to realize in this fight though. Instead of protesting and defaming Kapampangans as buy-outs, he could have acknowledged the fact that he garnered 465,704 votes or about 48 percent of the valid votes cast. That, my friend, is a slum dunk! A feather-in-a-cap or a big feat for a governor-to-be fighting Pineda. Governor Pineda was a re-electionist and during his first term, he worked non-stop and outstandingly led the province during the COVID 19 pandemic.

With an unquestionable performance and undeniable achievements for Pampanga, still, Baylon snatched 48 percent of the Kapampangan votes – considering that it was his first time to run as governor. He was also totally unpopular before the elections. Baylon must have done something right in his campaign to get the attention of the Kapampangans.

But giving it a second thought, now I even convinced myself that Pineda has even helped him with those votes – because the mere mention of any candidate fighting “Delta Pineda” is already an advantageous promotion for that opposing candidate. Thankful not spiteful, that is where Baylon's heart lies. There are things that remain hidden to the investigative eye. Beautiful madness, they say. In all the chaos, in all the questions, there is always a positive realization – something beautiful and humbling, I might add.


On a different note on beautiful madness, an old-time favorite crowd-drawer rock band in Pampanga will hold a reunion concert on August 25, 8 p.m. at Raphael’s Unlimited in Balibago, Angeles City.

Cartoon Madness joined one of the greatest Filipino rock bands - The Dawn - in a tour for the promotion of their album, Prodigal Sun in 2000. During the birthing years of Tigtigan Terakan king Dalan (TTKD), Cartoon Madness was one of the pioneer bands that worked closely with the Angeles City Tourism Office. They were also regional champions and national finalists of the well-coveted titles under RedHorse Muziklaban and San Miguel Battle of the Bands.

Their vocalist, John Kelly, is now visiting the country after migrating to the United States in the late 2000s. Other band members are Michael Gensell Garcia (on bass), Eric Miranda (on guitars), Dindo Castro (on guitars) and Jay Valencia (on drums). Their manager, a good friend, John Pangilinan is a known Kapampangan visual artist and a former member of the Angeles City Tourism Office. ACTO, by the way, will be sponsoring the event on August 25 along with the Abacan River and Angeles Watershed Advocacy Council, Inc. (ARAW-ACI). Cartoon Madness is one of the artists’ groups supporting the advocacy for the rehabilitation and development of the Angeles City watershed in Sapangbato.


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