Why Filipinos should support Gov. Ed Panlilio


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By Harvey Keh

For the past two weeks our group, Kaya Natin! A Movement for Genuine Change and Ethical Leadership released a stand supporting Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio on the recall petition filed against him by his political opponents in Pampanga.

Since that time, several political leaders led by Vice-Governor Yeng Guiao and Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo have come out in media telling us to stay away from this issue since we are not from Pampanga.

In an interview over a national radio program wherein Vice-Governor Guiao and I were interviewed one after the other, Vice-Governor Guiao said that it is wrong for people outside Pampanga to meddle in issues such as this which should only concern the people of Pampanga.
As such, I have taken the initiative to explain why Filipinos from all over the Philippines and the world should support Gov. Panlilio. While I agree with Vice-Governor Guiao and Mayor Pelayo that at the end of the day, it will be the Kapampangans who will decide the fate of Gov. Panlilio, I do not agree with them that discussion and concern about this issue should be limited within the confines of Pampanga.

As we very well know, what happened in Pampanga during the 2007 Elections was a testament to the will of the Filipino people for good governance triumphing over traditional politics of guns, goons and gold.

With his victory over well-entrenched politicians Mark Lapid and Lilia Pineda, Gov. Panlilio and the people of Pampanga became symbols of hope for every Filipino who longs for ethical and morally upright leaders that will efficiently deliver basic services and address the needs of the poor and powerless in our society.

Thus, while Gov. Panlilio remains as the governor of only one province, his electoral victory coupled with his continued fight against illegal gambling and corruption in Pampanga has made him a symbol of new politics in our country.

It is with these reasons that politicians with vested interests are trying their best to oust him so that they can resume their money-making ventures at the expense of the welfare of the Filipino people.

While Gov. Panlilio has his own shortcomings as governor, I believe that compared to his predecessors he has done much more towards promoting transparency and accountability in the provincial capitol as evidenced by his remarkable 1000% increase in yearly quarry collections.

I distinctly recall during one forum I attended, a foreigner who works at a international institution here in the Philippines told me that the main problem of our country is that we cannot seem to get good people to consider running for public office and to become part of government.

Now, we were already blessed with someone like Gov. Panlilio who despite much hesitation to take a leave from the priesthood has decided to answer the call for well-meaning people to serve in government. The least that we can all do now is to support and help him so that other good people can be encouraged to also consider to serve in our government.

We have to remember that if Gov. Panlilio is recalled and removed from his position as governor of Pampanga, it will not only be a blow to good governance in Pampanga but more importantly, it will be a big step backward towards the fulfillment of every Filipino’s dream of having more government leaders who will effectively and ethically serve our nation. As the old adage goes, the only way for evil to prevail is if good men do nothing.

Click this link to send your letters of support to Gov. Panlilio through Kaya Natin.

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