CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- If it was up to League of Cities of the Philippines president Oscar Rodriguez, he would want to see former Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio appointed to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Rodriguez, in an interview over the weekend, said Malacañang would surely want the services of Panlilio as his efforts and sacrifices in public governance would not be wasted.

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However, Rodriguez said that he knows no information yet of where Panlilio might be appointed into by President Benigno Aquino III as the prohibition for appointing candidates in the recent elections to government positions have yet to lapse.

“Maybe he can join Jesse Robredo at the DILG or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. I think he could handle being appointed to such positions,” Rodriguez told Sun.Star Pampanga.

Rumors have been circulating that Panlilio may be appointed to the Bureau of Customs, but Rodriguez was quick to add that that there have been no such talks as of this posting Sunday.

Rodriguez, who is said to share closeness with President Aquino, said that Panlilio may be appointed to government positions if he no longer intends to return to priesthood.

It could be remembered that Panlilio was suspended as a priest when he opted to run for governor of Pampanga. He won in a landmark election in 2007 but lost in a reelection bid against incumbent Governor Lilia Pineda.

Prior to his loss last month, the Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting en banc, has decided to unseat Panlilio after the recount of the highly-contested 2007 elections showed Pineda won by 2,011 votes.

Panlilio has yet to be formally “reinstated” into priesthood as the Archdiocese of San Fernando and the Vatican are still deliberating on his case.

Rodriguez, for his part, said that he would support any move to appoint Panlilio to a government position. He said he believes in the ability of Panlilio in handling grassroots concerns as well as social programs. (Ian Ocampo Flora)