Saturday, July 18, 2009

Deconstructing Ed Panlilio--a failure in governance


Honestly, the chances of Pampanga governor Ed Panlilio winning in a multi-party presidential contest is very slim. First, Panlilio is not as popular as an Erap. Second, you need an expansive grassroots organization, especially since the elections has now been automated. And third, since you need a humongous political organization, you need a large campaign kitty.

Besides, Panlilio is also not the ideal presidential candidate. Is three years as governor enough for him to really say that he's qualified for the highest executive post? Is Pampanga so much better now than before that he can confidently say that its the perfect governance model for the entire country to adapt? Panlilio should present his performance or service record as a governor first to prove that he has the wherewithal and the skills and experience to qualify as our president.

If its integrity that Panlilio thinks he has, then, he needs to resolve questions on campaign funds first. He is not entirely clean.

He also needs to re-assess his leadership style. Did he successfully united all political forces in his own province? No. Did he instilled discipline and morality in government service? No. How about his relationship with his constituents? Is Panlilio working very closely with his vice governor, board members, mayors and councilors in his province? No. In fact, the reason why they're all silent on the governor's plan is they want him out of Pampanga local politics.

Let's be realistic for a while. Do we actually need a moralist to be our president? Is morality the root cause of our miseries? If it is indeed, then, the solution is not to install or vote for a moralist. We need a socio-cultural thought regime change to do just that. We need the entire country to at least pause for a while and "re-imagine" our moral values.

I think this ploy of Panlilio is not a good thing. First, it aims to divide the opposition vote. Second, Panlilio's campaign would cause further division in the anti-administration ranks, leading to what observers think as a win for the administration. I don't know if Panlilio and his handlers deliberately want this to happen. Wittingly or unwittingly, Panlilio should desist from his plan. Probably, this is a scheme by Panlilio to divert public attention to the worsening economic and political situation in his province. Panlilio knows very well that should he run for another term, he'll surely lose. The experiment for open democracy in Pampanga failed because of Panlilio.