Saturday, May 19, 2007

Primus Inter PARI...

...First AMONG Equals

(well, NOT exactly;
unless you consider the lesser Mark Lapid and Lilia Pineda as equals)

Before Fr. Ed Panlilio was convinced to run for Governor
less than two months ago,

most Capampangans were feeling a weird sense of dislocation
and isolation from their home province.

We loved our Pampanga,
but we couldn't fathom how we found ourselves in a situation
wherein we had to choose between
an underwhelming Lapid and an undeserving Pineda
as our only choices to lead the province.

I thought that we were in a hopeless situation.

I completely lost whatever last vestige of respect
I had for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,

after she let this happen in the province she supposedly calls home;
a home, that at the very least, she should keep clean...

but she has allowed Pampanga to wallow in a pigsty of miserable leadership.

God bless him,
provided the LIGHT.

in his signature plain white T-shirt,
his simple presence,
and his sincere campaign

underscored the stark contrast between the extravagant darkness
and true lies of the forces he was up against.

His quickly became the most compelling campaign of Election '07.
It was, after all, an irresistible parable of Good vs. Evil.

Slowly but surely,
the national media picked up the David vs. (2!) Goliaths story,
almost biblical in its allusions and repercussions.

Concerned Filipinos from all over the country,
and all over the world,
considered Among's campaign in Pampanga
as symbolic of the Philippines' purification of the miasma of GMA.

And like the proverbial manna from heaven,
donations started pouring in,

and volunteerism,
the likes of which we haven't seen since
the Cory Campaign of 1986,
proved to be the difference.

it was a tough, tough war to win.

Last Thursday night, May 17,
with 17 of the 21 towns' Certificates of Canvass counted.
Lilia Pineda established a 15,000+ vote lead.

As Friday morning dawned,
there were three towns and one city that remained,
and that city was San Fernando,
my hometown...

with great pride and affection,
I'm elated to say that when the CoC of San Fernando was tallied,
Among Ed led there by more than 16,000 votes!!!

Those votes, along with the winning totals from the towns of

Mabalacat and Magalang,
counted on the very last hours of the very last day of canvassing,
were able to offset the lead of Lilia from Lubao,

and paved the way for the proclamation of Among Ed as the new Governor of Pampanga.


And now,
the real work begins.

Will the Capampangans
lose their zeal and relax after Fr. Ed's miraculous victory?

Will my Cabalens
once again turn a blind eye towards corrupt elements
and allow these to influence our provincial government?

I don't think so;
we realize that we've won this battle,
but the war against jueteng, illegal quarrying,
and incompetent governance has only just begun.

But I'm optimistic ",
that we've finally regained our pride in our province,

and led by the shining example of Among,
we will continue to light our candles of faith.

Faith in God,
and Faith in the People of Pampanga.


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