Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Panlilio for President? Whaaaaaaat?!

Perhaps this is an example of people being too literal about restoring morality in governance.
Priest on leave and Pampanga governor Among Ed Panlilio was heard on news radio yesterday referring to himself as a 'last resort' Presidential candidate. He explained that if a suitable Presidential candidate could not be found, he would be compelled to run for the highest position of the land. He also said that unlike most candidates for the position who are afraid to lose, he said that he is afraid to win.
I don't really know what to make of what he said over the radio and I was straining to hear some more.
It's not the typical spiel for a Presidential candidate or a candidate of any sort to say such things. I will grant that it is a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere polluted by the spleens of so-called frontrunner Presidential candidates who wave their money about, dance like lunatics in every fiesta including Cenaculos (passion plays), and announce to the whole world that they are going to save the country from the mess it is in.
But then, again, will it amount to anything?
The idea of a philosopher king ruling this 7,100 islands of ours is a romantic ideal. Having a priest President (as priests usually, at least in UST, major in Philosophy in their undergraduate studies) might be the next best thing.
Perhaps, Panlilio wouldn't be so scared of winning as President if he knew exactly what to do if he gets elected. It would help if he had a vision for where to take our country and a specific plan or plans of how to solve a couple of perennial problems.
For the moment, I'll pass on his vision statement because I'd hate to hear about the pearly gates and Jesus floating down from the clouds.
I'd like to hear about what he'll do about stopping corruption in government, since he is presenting himself as a moral alternative which I assume should be against all manner of stealing.
Stamping out corruption in government alone would do a lot of good and perhaps, if accomplished within the first year of his term, we would be amazed to find out that:
  • the construction cost of classrooms are at P350,000 to P400,000 per unit. Right now, the government bills us P1,000,000 per classroom.
  • the construction of roads only cost 30% of what the government bills us. What is surprising is that contractors still earn from road construction.
  • fertilizers and seeds cost only 10% of what the government says it costs.
  • text messages and wireless internet connections should be free! (Er, if you are wondering where that came from, so am I.)

(more later)


better said...

i must admit the idea of having a philosopher king appeals to me. but i agree, as you pointed out, that this is a romantic ideal.

i will not discount fr. panlilio just yet although i do feel he may not have what it takes to survive dirty politics while leading the country at the same time.

in case he does decide to go for the presidency, i just hope he would be able to present specific action plans as well as a formidable team of possible cabinet officials and advisers to back him up

incidentally, us president barack obama's own experience right now should teach us filipinos a few things. i'm sure mr. obama has already realized that, while his rhetoric and his 'inspiring' persona got him elected, these are not enough to ensure his success especially in dealing with his country's recession. fr. panlilio and his supporters should also consider this. in any case, i sincerely hope president obama and fr. panlilio would be able to live up to whatever expectations other people may have of them.

Admin said...

What I find thrilling about Panlilio's emerging presidential bid is that apparently some people have discovered that they can create their own choices when none of the options presented to them seem satisfactory.

I hope this is an indication that people are beginning to learn to truly think for themselves and support their ideas with action.

As for Presidential candidates meeting or not meeting expectations, I think what we really have to build up is our people's capability to compell the President and perhaps any other official to deliver whatever they promise. The thing is, most people think that after voting a particular candidate into office, they will automatically deliver on their promises. This seldom happens and if it does, the candidate would certainly score very high in terms of integrity -- which very few politicians possess these days.

Our people need to learn that voting for someone isn't enough and that continuous lobbying as well as scrupulous checking on the delivery of commitments should be be the norm for us.

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