Setting precedence

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    UNPRECEDENTED. THAT may be the single word that best describes politics in Pampanga in 2009.

    Even going beyond Pampanga and marking a first in the country’s history is the outgoing, but still very-tightly sitting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seeking the province’s 2nd congressional district seat for 2010.

    Doing, nay, surpassing a John Quincy Adams, GMA there. Well, the sixth American president was years out of the presidency when he ran for and won a seat at the US Capitol. True, the aged Quincy was said to have slept through much of the congressional deliberations but he impacted his name in history as a congressman in his spirited and successful defense of the rights of the human cargo in the slave ship Amistad.

    A parallel thought: Could GMA, now generally scorned as president find popular redemption in being a congresswoman?

    In 2007, Catholic priest Eddie Panlilio set a precedence in running for governor and being seated at the Pampanga Capitol, on the promise of good governance and a single term with which to train a successor from the laity. 

    The Panlilio precedent provided the pattern for the reportedly civilly-married but still in-dispensed priest Cris Cadiang running for Angeles City vice mayor. 

    In 2009, Gov. Panlilio did the unprecedented anew: seeking the Philippine presidency because “God called him” to do so, but later withdrawing from it without so much as a whisper from his god; endorsing presidential aspirant Sen. Noynoy Aquino and joining his Liberal party; filing his certificate of candidacy for the governorship anew, and seeking a dispensation from the priesthood – all in one fell swoop.

    Unprecedented too in Panlilio’s case is his reportedly impending ouster from the Capitol with the anticipated declaration by the Commission on Elections of former Board Member Lilia “Nanay Baby” Pineda as the true winner in 2007.

    Unprecedented in Mexico town’s history is its mayor – Teddy C. Tumang – running unopposed in 2010. Not even a whimper heard coming from the town’s storied Asenso Ernesto  there. Has Tigas  finally turned mamon? 

    A first in Pampanga indeed is daughter Marjorie Morales-Sambo challenging the 15-year supremacy of her father Mayor Boking Morales in soon-to-be-city Mabalacat.

    Notwithstanding professions of a principled stand by the contractor John Sambo’s wife, nothing more than a tempest in a teapot in Mabalacat.  Or,  to be more blunt, a family feud gone awry.

    Angeles City Councilor Ares Yabut had his own precedent-setting act: The first ever congressional wannabe whose candidacy was launched by a contactor. No, not just any contractor but the very one Yabut’s colleagues in the city council damned as having allegedly cornered all contracts in the Nepomuceno administration.       

    That, finding cause for Yabut’s bruited principal rival, Chito Bacani, to raise the battlecry: “Knock-out punch against the corrupt.”

    No precedent-setting in the national scene but a first for my somnolent hometown of Sto. Tomas was having a son for a presidential candidate.

    George Washing-jeep, aka Manok, filed his certificate of candidacy for the highest post in the land on a platform of…well, raffling off Malacanang and all the powers emanating therefrom among his supporters once he got elected.

    Unfortunately, Mister Washing-jeep will ever be the best president neither Sto. Tomas nor the country will ever have. He died on Christmas eve, after vomiting blood on the passenger jeepney he was washing. 

    Sad.


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