ONCE RABID supporters of Gov. Eddie T. Panlilio have finally come out of their comfort cocoon of awe of their Among and joined the continuing protest action of disgruntled and dismissed members of the Biyaya a Luluguran at Sisikapan (Balas) task force.
    Last week, the protest took a different tack with the launch of a signature campaign to force the issue with the Governor to let go of his putative administrator, Atty. Vivian Dabu.
    Taking on Dabu’s televised ejaculation of faith, “only God can make me resign,” the protesters, by getting “as much signatures as possible,” aim to make Dabu see the light and hear the voice of God, through the voice of the people. Vox populi, vox Dei there, see?
    Panlilio’s campaign supporters and allies in civil society groups have made their presence felt at the Balas picket, taking turns at deploring Dabu and appealing to Panlilio to heed the cries of the people.
    Even as we have consistently denigrated the Balas boys and their empathizers for being so blindly stupid as to fail to see the principal cause of their problems – It’s not Dabu, bobo. It’s Panlilio – some observers have taken a deeper look at the situation.
    I found the following in my e-mail, sent by a brother from the Mater Boni Consilii Seminary.
    “I’ve been following the news in regards to the Balas boys and Archie, Fil , Averell (all fellow ex-seminarians and once-faithful now-discordant chorus boys of Panlilio), they have been in the limelight lately. Mangapakaili ku mu kasi (I could not help laughing because) the more they expose the deeds of Dabu, the more they are exposing the incompetency of Gov. Ed. Tutu titirahan de i Dabu pero nung surian mu ing makikasalanan i Gov o paburen ne eh. Ta bakit nung talagang ena buring Ed ing gagawan ng Dabu ene ilako? Puera na mu talaga nung tatakut ya i Ed. (True they hit Dabu but if you look closely, it is the Gov’s fault as he allows Dabu to do her thing. If he disapproved of Dabu’s actions, why won’t he sack her. That is if he is not really afraid of her.)
    “Ing pagtakan ku mu o bat balamu nung kapilan kakalat ing balitang ma recall ya ing Gov, kanita la mesikan lub mamagsalita ring kakampi ng Ed? nya isipan ku pota palabas ngan yan eh, it is so well orchestrated and inconveniently coincidental. Balamu sabe sabe tirahan de Dabu at palage ku potang misulung ne nung mituluy ya man ing recall bigla palto ng Ed mig- succumb ne keng will of the people and release ne i Dabu, at maging mayumu ne kareng tau at ala nong sangkan ding SP para e maki-dialogue. Siguru paranoid ku mu pero magtaka ku mu talaga. (What makes me wonder is why now that talks of a recall of the governor are spreading, Ed’s supporters suddenly found the courage to talk (negatively of his administration). This could all be for show…everybody is hitting Dabu now and when the recall progresses, Ed would release Dabu to show that he followed the will of the people. He would then regain their support and the SP would have no choice but to sit down with him again in a dialogue. I may be paranoid but I can’t help but wonder.)”
    No paranoia there, my seminary brother. Not a few people share the same sentiments. I too entertain these thoughts. I have even articulated these before some espresso buddies who belong to the group wanting to recall Panlilio.
    If I were Panlilio, I would even engineer more protests against Dabu even as I would hold to her as though holding onto dear life itself. Then, when the recall movement goes full steam, I would let go of Dabu – complete with a grand production of ceremonious rituals befitting a supreme sacrifice – in a show of humbly bowing to the sovereign will of the people.
    The people have spoken and their leader followed them. And Panlilio’s currently estranged civil society group will be back in his fold in no time at all.
    One of my coffeeshop confreres believed that given Panlilio’s stubbornness, letting go of Dabu would be impossible.
    I countered that the exigency of the moment could make an expediency out of Dabu to soften, mayhaps even melt, the obstinacy of my compadre.
    It is after all for the governorship, not for Dabu, that Panlilio broke his priestly vow. Of obedience, not celibacy, dummy.
    And in an either-or equation, Panlilio would most surely embrace the higher calling.


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