A Problem Like Fr. Ed Panlilio

No, the word “problem” in this article’s head does not refer to me but to a segment of the Catholic Church opposed to Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio, a priest, possibly running for president. Priests becoming politicians have always placed the Church in an awkward position. Blame that on our colonial past.

It’s not like the Church, or at least some of its elements, is stranger to wielding political power, with often disastrous results. If you have not been enlightened about that, read again Jose Rizal’s “Noli” and “El Fili.” Our experience with Spanish priests gaining ascendancy over colonial Philippines is still relatively fresh to be repeated.

My other problem with Panlilio is his seeming “messianic” (no pun intended) thinking, fed into him no doubt by the people surrounding him. Cebuanos call that gikulkog, or gi-cooking. But then again, every politician is entitled to his/her own entertainment, as what Rep. Pablo Garcia would say. So Panlilio could end up running with former broadcaster now Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca in the 2010 elections.

To be fair, the motivation in the “Panlilio for president” lobby is no different from the one that prompted some sectors to suggest that Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno should also take a jab at the presidency. It only shows that a good number of people are still looking for the ideal presidential candidate (translation: the presently mentioned presidentiables suck).

By the way, Sen. Mar Roxas linked up again with Mayor Tomas Osmeña last Tuesday, probably checking if the support of the latter for his presidential ambition has not waned. Actually, I am not a Roxas fan, and that is borne out of disgust. In the first half of his term this man is as silent as the moon. Now he is noisy and is everywhere because the elections are near.

Incidentally, presidentiables of note have become visible in building alliances and networks in Cebu. I listened to former vice governor Nanding Celeste praise Sen. Manny Villar in his dyLA program yesterday. And didn’t the controversial photo of former president Joseph Estrada and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay aboard a jeepney that had a replica of a 50-caliber machine gun on it show the face of Carmen Mayor Sonia Pua?

Expect, then, the presidentiables to each rip a portion from the banner called “One Cebu” as the campaign heats up. That’s one reality Gov. Gwen Garcia would find difficult to stave off.

(This came out in my March 26, 2009 “Candid Thoughts” column in Sun.Star Cebu)

3 Responses to A Problem Like Fr. Ed Panlilio

  1. Cats says:

    Church leaders can run for government. They also have their civil and political rights. Not all church leaders are incompetent in running a country or are trying to revive oppressive colonial traits. The Church is the only institution that gave hope to the suffering masses of Mexico during the Cristeros War and during the Communist butchery in eastern Europe. The Church is the governments’ greatest enemy. it is currently opposing the hidden agenda of the United Nation’s one-world government, aim to obliterate cultures and families.
    All people have foolish messianic tendencies, including journalists, church leaders, politicians, and activists. But not all of them can become like Chavez, Blessed Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. Panlilio may not have the charisma Brazilian church leaders have when they led their people in praying the Rosary against the Communist invasion.
    It does not matter who sits on the government. What’s important is he speaks for the people. It does not matter whether he is a Christian church leader, a laid-off factory foreman, or a Satanist.

  2. cebuano says:

    To Cats: Satanists speaking for the people? Of course, personality and belief matters in choosing government officials. Fr. Ed Panlilio may believe he is God’s gift to the people but in the end he is judged by what he has done for Pampanga. Those with messianic tendencies almost always end up as bad leaders because they listen only to themselves. And saying that the Church is government’s greatest enemy is to fail to recognize reality. Many church people have close relationship with government. Only few priests and bishops are very critical of the government. They are just the ones who are very noisy.

  3. Edgar Faune says:

    Each one of us are accountable to what we have done to ourself and to other people. Its disheartening that we hear our kababayan to succumb in the reality of our festering government. Instead lets help one another to fight what is right and good. Moreover, It is the responsibility of the priest to guide people’s moral so it is only proper that they will do their responsibility. Yes its true only few priest makes noise because majority of them prayed that God will send His answer to the majority of the Filipino people. How did come up labeling people having messianic tendencies? How many people whom did you know who has messianic tendencies that end up as bad leaders?

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