Fr. Ed Panlilio an unlikely winner among two contending “political” giants in a province dubbed the Jueteng capital of the
A close hard won victory against two opponents with a well oiled political machinery that loves to hate each other has allowed Fr. Ed to score a victory in a closely held six-cornered race gathering 219,875 votes against closest rivals Lilia Pineda (wife of allege Jueteng lord and GMA Kumpadre Bong) who got 218,559 votes, and re-electionist Governor Mark Lapid allegedly embroiled in the Illegal Quarry taking in 210,875 votes.
It was very encouraging to learn that what started as a rag tag army of supporters swelling to 30,000 volunteers with 33 lawyers headed by 4 prominent lawyers that participatory democracy is gaining ground considering they are in the province whose most prominent citizen gave new meaning to highway robbery. This is wake call, people are now actively participating and making their voices heard hopefully a sign of rejection on our pathetic patronage and personality politics that has ruined and dominated our electoral process.
Now that we have a man of the cloth on leave from his vocation I am wondering what will happen to the no.1 industry of Pampanga? Jueteng a backyard industry or was it backdoor industry where millionaires are made no education required but connections and having street smart Robin Hood mentality can gain one instant success. Will we see the demise or do we see a compromise on the state of the Jueteng industry? What will happen to the “Cobra Men and Women”, will we see them picketing the Kapitolyo (
I am hoping that Fr. Ed’s supporters will continue on with their support because it is now that he needs the strong backing of his supporters for the challenge ahead are enormous and dangerous. While I have no doubt that Fr. Ed with his strong conviction and resolve will not succumb to evil temptations and machination of well entrenched gambling syndicates I pray that those who surrounds him are of the same mould because without his supporters he will surely fail.
There is a long road ahead and while Fr. Ed won his rivals are not totally down and out with their influence still intact and money still flowing out of their ears courtesy of hopeless bettors betting against hope that they can hit it big time. There are still those corrupt police officers and local elected officials relying on Jueteng proceeds as one of the major source of patronage funding. Jueteng is one of the major perks in belonging to an administration party and surely they will not take it sitting down if one tries to put a stop to this gambling racket. Especially when the campaign expenses took its heavy toll at the rate they squandered money as if it is going out of style these shady trapos needs to recoup those “investments”.