Will Fr. Panlilio be president?

Will Fr. Panlilio be president?

It is more a case of ‘neither here nor there’ this whole idea being floated around that Governor Panlilio throws hat into the ring as alternative presidential choice. In the blogosphere alone as it is in mainstream media, the sticky trap already gathered adherents which may prove to be an awful waste of propaganda work. For in the end, the priest can gracefully rebound back from whatever overtones may have indeed been made public.

Panlilio sets three conditions, easy enough to remember, as the moorings upon which his possible decision to run are tied to – first, as a last option; second, as a public clamor; and third, for peace sake. All told, this simply means that the hero struts forward if the collectivity fails to make a choice as to the best presidential candidate to support; if there is overwhelming public outcry for him to accept the challenge, and lastly, if he becomes the only hope to bring about equilibrium in our realpolitik these trying times.

Meanwhile, he claims, albeit condescendingly, to be a mere convenor who would consult with all presidentiables who would be willing to embrace his – one candidate proposal – which means that from the field of reform-minded wannabes, only one will represent the whole pack in this presidential derby against a perceivably strong candidate from the administration. But if the presidential race will be reduced to a simple boxing match between two contenders, it may open the door for unforeseen problems in the COMELEC’s full automation program.

What is it Panlilio trying to weave? It appears that recruitment has just taken place and a virtual clearinghouse is in place to filter down to only one candidate their common choice to be. This may not necessarily be him unless he becomes the choice of the consensus. Viewed another way, it can also look like the cart before the horse. Panlilio and his handlers appear to already have a gameplan in mind and an end-game scenario sketched in their cognitive faculty.

They probably think that 2010 is anybody but GMA or any of her clones.

Even a mere peripheral view will tell us that no one from the list of presidentiables or in case of set A (Noli, Chiz, Loren, Mar, Manny) will join Panlilio’s open summit. Nor anyone from say, set B (Ping, Teodoro, Gordon, Erap, Binay) would opt to be relegated from the background or play minor key. Perhaps, not one from set C (BF, Velarde, GMA, Puno, Genuino) will either, do. So from which set will the good priest seek a common root?

Truth to tell, even Archbishop Oscar Cruz is not inclined to endorse Panlilio since the governor has more problems than he is able to solve even as governor. If Cruz were to be believed, no mayors in the whole province of Pampanga saved for one and not one from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Provincial Board do stand by what Panlilio believes in. In other words, if the good priest cannot as much as even command respect, how can he expect to command respect from a larger whole – society writ large? Fact is, not few from the clergy have opposed views on what Panlilio is doing in either capacity – priest or governor.

While indeed, organized groups to include the leftist party list have expressed support for Panlilio, Rep. Hontiveros would want exactly that more than mere lip service, Panlilio lays down his clear national agenda and provides answers to major policy issues or concerns as early as now. If that is not about ready, chances are, Panlilio is wishing for the moon. In fact, a recall petition with the COMELEC is in the offing, frustrated only now by lack of material time and money to conduct recall elections.

This is classic case of media feeding frenzy – not knowing exactly what it is to feed to the universal viewership. With grave doubts as to his competence to lead the Province of Pampanga to where he wants to take its future, what is it really that can make Panlilio click with the entire Filipino populace? First of all, as soon as he leaves Pampanga, Rep. Mikey Arroyo shall be able to get the gubernatorial seat unless Panlilio made the path more difficult for his more prospective successor.

Little is deposited in our collective memory as to the feats or accomplishments that the self-styled presidential wannabe can brag about. We want a strong leader who can command obedience from no less than the PNP. For how indeed can he even begin to accomplish more important plans if he does not even have the rapport he must have with the PNP? He cannot even have his request for a new provincial PNP chief approved at Camp Crame, what more with other personages in the whole bureaucracy?

As the saying goes, “no man is an island but a part of the main”. Maybe, Panlilio must first check his own suitability to the highest office that he aspires for. He must exhibit clear stand on what he really wants to be when no two options can be done at the same time. One prepares himself long and hard and the presidency is entirely not a joke. It is always preferred as a rule that one stands on solid moral ground but what if it is nothing but an ice floe that can melt at the pestering heat of corruption?