I really wouldn't know how Pampanga Governor Among Ed Panlilio and Isabela Governor Grace Padaca intends to win the 2010 elections as President and Vice President, but I am really interested in seeing them run.
Running priest, Fr. Robert Reyes has already voiced his support for the two. I wonder if Senator Pia Cayetano would have anything to say about it.
As I've told my friend Junep Ocampo, I'm all for good choices in 2010 and as I've said before, the emergence of the Padaca-Panlilio tandem for 2010 may be a sign that Filipinos may have realized their capacity to create options other than those presented by the moneyed and influential.
Then again, I'm given to a fair amount of wondering if indeed Panlilio and Padaca really isn't being backed by a faction of the moneyed and influence behind them. I'd really like to see that they aren't being fielded just so that the votes for a moral and intelligent Presidential Candidate will not be divided. It's an old tactic.
Right along with Among Ed and Grace is Brother Eddie Villanueva and Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno.
(Perhaps and this is just a wild idea, we should all just back one candidate as a moral and intelligent choice. I mean, this would be the way to go, if they are all serious about having a really serious contender against Villar, De Castro, Loren Legarda, and Roxas.)
In anycase, there are really tough questions that Among Ed and Grace ought to answer in the coming days and the easier ones, as Junep says, will be the ones regarding their plans or programs of governance.
Junep sent me this message:Programs are simple:- Bring back the dignity of the Philippine government by ridding it of corruption.- Leadership by example.- No-nonsense governance that is anchored on justice, peace and simple living.- Governors Panlilio and Padaca are both single, with no families to take care of, and no debts to pay. They only have the country to serve.
For sure, these may not be the entire programs of governance but perhaps they represent a good direction.
I remember only too well the Presidency of Cory Aquino. Apart from dismantling some of the bad, along with the good, of the Marcos' establishment which was supposedly corrupt to the core -- not much else was achieved in terms of ridding our government of corruption. In the latter years, what we witnessed more and more of was the return of democracy and the democratization of corruption. Instead of paying off just one corrupt government official, you'd have to pay more people.
What I'd really like to hear Among Ed and Grace tell us is how successful have they been in stamping out corruption in their own provinces. Whatever success they may have, may already be a sign of how successful they may be in the future -- if and when they get elected.
But more than graft and corruption, I'd like to hear about their plans for strengthening our economy and how they plan to steer it through the difficult days ahead when the effects of the global recession finally hits the country. How are they going to provide jobs for the Overseas Filipino Workers who may lose their jobs in the coming months?
Also, what are they going to do about the public education system?
What are they going to do about the public health system? I think it was during the Ramos Administration that the Department of Health deregulated health services and now we have instances where health clinics at the city and munipal levels are virtually shuttered closed. Have you been to PGH recently? No dearth of sob stories there.
How about disaster preparedness? Climate change is a reality we will have to face and weather disturbances are going to be more and more severe. What are their plans to end the cycle of disaster and poverty?
Of the many disasters that happen in our country, there is one sort that happens in just one small place in the Philippine Archipelago that does more damage to the entire country than a year's worth of typhoons. That is the kidnappings that is perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf in places in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu. What does Among Ed and Grace intend to do with them? What do they plan to do about the peace or lack of peace situation in certain parts of Mindanao?
I'd really like to hear more and I'll post whatever answers I get.