Against all odds winning with a clear mandate over two formidable opponents one a personification of personality politics an actor succeeding his famous actor father whose mandates can be best described for pathetic incompetence if not outright corruption in quarry collection and the wife of an allege jueteng (illegal numbers game) lord.
Days after the election we see the “demolition” campaign against Among Ed and his supporters accused of unbelievable and appalling accusation of electoral irregularities, a portion of the petition I quote below:
On May 25, 2007, defeated candidate Lilia Pineda filed an election protest against Gov. Among Ed on allegations that he and his supporters engaged in massive cheating, vote-buying, harassment and other poll irregularities.
We are appalled at the turn-out of events that now cast aspersion on us Kapampangans who worked hard to usher in a new era of politics in Pampanga. While we fully recognize the right of any losing candidate to challenge the outcome of the elections, we cannot condone the baseless and senseless charges levelled against us and Gov. Among Ed.
Then we see the news on Vice-Governor Joseller Guiao lashing out “Among” Ed whose “only” achievement he claims was collecting quarry fees while neglecting other duties such as the BIDDING processes that the province badly needed. Uh huh yeah how dare the Governor delay the badly needed bidding so he can institute transparency measure to eliminate corruption? Does he not realize that people running the bidding process badly need to make a living? Yikes, what is up with that? How impatient of the vice governor, maybe instead of lashing out at the governor he should help out in making sure that transparency measures are in place so that the province receives their due in fair legitimate bid in the interest of the province and their taxpayers.
Maybe if this Guiao person checks Among Gov. Ed’s first 100 days report before lashing out exposing his talangka (a small crustacean related to crabs) mentality, then he knows no one really takes him seriously or believe his load of crap (excuse my French) …… it makes me wonder why would he do such a thing early on is just puzzling, or is it? Instead of lashing out that is so counter-productive I wonder if he ever read the DRAFT of the PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE AGENDA where cabalens (province mates) are encouraged to improve on it, did he? Or is he more interested in grandstanding akin to shooting his foot and mouth in the process?
These kind of pathetic perverse mentality really does not surprise us anymore, corrupted environment will naturally lead to corrupted mind especially the corrupt who corrupts our society. Take the case of the P500K palace by the stinking Pasig River bribery errr gift giving when it was clearly not a christmas gift. When Among Ed exposed the bribe all of a sudden lies in all shape and form mutated out of the murky river by La Gloria's palace most of witch errrr which are outright ridiculous it's not even funny anymore but so insulting to peoples intelligence. The most pathetic though goes to politicians and liepapers for printing and lashing out at Among Ed for exposing the anomalous bribery, saying it was counter-productive..... excuse me but this is just too much.
It appears that these people are ganging up on Among Ed another indication of a conspiratorial sabotage came in a report by Julius Fortuna in the Manila Times opinion section which I quote:
Pampanga Gov. Among Ed will find out that without the support of the provincial board and the mayors, he would have a hard time managing the province. I was told that the provincial board is totally uncooperative with the popular governor. If that situation continues, the governor could not move. The provincial board controls the budget.
Fortuna maybe right but based on the action of the 10 member provincial board over-riding the Governor’s veto of Ordinance 176 imposing a new arrangement on the quarry resources, they are not just uncooperative they are out to sabotaged his efficient quarry fee collection. Why are the local provincial board antagonistic to the Governor, is it because these are Lilia Pineda's used to be one of them? Political vendetta perhaps, or just plain crab mentality to bring down a very popular leader in his and the cabalen's quest for good governance?
Just how much money are we talking here and why in the name of Lady Madaya (Lady Cheat) will the Provincial Board members sabotage the governor? In an article on UCA News (international Catholic news service) which I quote:
Between July 2 and Sept. 20, the government collected 60.2 million pesos in quarry fees, compared to 29.1 million pesos for all of 2006.
On July 20, Father Panlilio gave village chiefs, municipal mayors and municipal treasurers shares in the quarry fees that were collected July 1-15.
After accepting a 129,000-peso check, Benjamin Palma, chief of sand-rich Dolores village in Mabalacat, told UCA News, "The governor is right in saying sand from lahar was a disaster turned into God's grace." Noting that his check was 35 times more than his village's share from January to June, Palma hailed the "good governance" of his province as "God's will."
Well, all eyes are on Pampanga as seen on the UCA News and the Overseas Filipino communities are watching. If these corrupt politicians think they can get away with their shameless impunity they are dead wrong.
Now why would they pervert and steal the efficient collection from an honest administrator really tells us something. Is it because if Governor Ed Panlilio keeps on collecting the quarry fees in graft free transparent manner people will see the corruption of the past administration? Now who are these people lashing out and sabotaging what may have been the most efficient and honest governance? Is it because now they fear that shenanigans and scalawags of the past administration and some of these politicians were there during those days are afraid of getting exposed?
Jimmy Soriano posted an excellent legal backgrounder on the Quarry supervision and the legal quandary of Among Ed jeopardizing his moral leadership to rid the province of the evils of graft and corruption. To quote J. Soriano:
By next week the grossly unconstitutional and illegal Ordinance No. 176 would come into full force and effect. If Governor Panlilio does not implement the law, after the provincial board has over-ridden his veto, he could be charged with deriliction of duty and be the subject of administrative proceedings, especially by vested interest groups seeking political vendetta.
On the other hand, when Among Ed took his oath of office as governor of Pampanga, he swore to uphold the Constitution and obey and execute Philippine laws. This places Governor Ed in a precarious situation where he has to implement a local law which is constitutionally infirm and grossly violative or in contravention with national laws. It is neither here nor there for the good governor.
On the strength of his solemn oath, his crusade for moral leadership and the rule of law, and to resolve the novel issue whether or not there exists no other legal remedies available to a local chief executive whose exercise of the veto powers is reversed by the local sanggunian, Governor Among Ed Panlilio should seek judicial relief, perhaps before the Supreme Court on pure questions of law.
In the alternative or simultaneously, the people of Pampanga should also rally behind Governor Among by starting a local initiative calling for the repeal of Ordinance No. 176.
After all, the clamor for good and moral governance would never succeed if, as often said, ‘good men do nothing’.
To fully grasp the legal ramifications and legal (more of illegal) maneuverings of Among Ed's opponents visit Jimmy Soriano's blog entry The ‘Quarry’ Test for Gov Among for a detailed and comprehensive legal explanation where Pampanga is headed if we as a Filipinos don't support the people of Pampanga in their quest for good governance.
It is ironic that the local Provincial Board are learning the tricks from their counterpart in the house of congress using sheer number to drown out and prevail over anyone that does not conform to their perversion. It makes one wonder if jueteng errr Lilia Pineda has a hand in over ruling the veto of the governor since she was once a board member and what influence if any or role she played. Jimmy Soriano maybe right in saying that indeed it may have been political vendetta of sore losers that stands to lose should good governance take its root in the center of jueteng land and fake quarry receipts.
In the comment section is an excellent argument bolstering Jimmy Sorianos legal contention coming from Joselito Basilio:
1) The ordinance partakes of the nature of tax law which requires holding of public hearing and approval by the Secretary of Finance in addition to the usual requisites of publication of ordinance. (Tuazon vs. CA, 212 SCRA 739). Section 10 of the proposed ordinance is not compliant with this requirement.
2) The ordinance which delegates the regulatory power of Governor Panlilio over quarry industry to the mayors is illegal and invalid as it is tantamount to an undue delegation of powers. Potestas delegata non delegari potest. What has been delegated cannot be delegated. A further delegation of such power would constitute a negation of the duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate (Governor Panlilio) mandated to discharge it directly.
Unfortunately, the good governor cannot suspend the operation of the ordinance otherwise he will be charged administratively by the enemies of good governance. In addition, he may run afoul of the law on usurpation of legislative powers if he suspends the operation of ordinance. The appeal to the DOJ does not have the effect of suspending the operation of the recently approved ordinance. The ordinance has the presumption of regularity and color of legality unless and until it is declared null and void by the Secretary of Justice or a court of competent jurisdiction upon appeal, as the case maybe.
Incidentally, there’s a bill in the Senate (SB No. 1458) which seeks to amend Sec. 138 of the LGC seeking to shift the power to levy taxes on sand, gravel and other quarry resources from the province to the city or municipality concerned where the quarry is located.
Photo courtesy of:
Luid Ka, a coffeebook table cover by prolific writers led by Nina Lucia Tomen through Lito Basilio.
- ATM Journalism, Federico Pascual, & Sun Star
Bloggers Supporting Fr. Ed Panlilio