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)