"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Lone Ranger or Plain Tonto?

Two governors, Grace Padaca and Teddy Baguilat Jr., and two mayors, Jesse Robredo and Sonia Lorenzo, who are founders of yet another national movement called "Kaya Natin" came to the rescue of Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, in the aftermath of the failure of police to secure his office against the onslaught of demonstrators.

Before I get to Panlilio, however, let me say that talaga namang "kaya natin", we have long proven ourselves to be a resilient people.

But part of the Kaya Natin unfortunate statement read, "We are saddened and very disappointed in these turn of events, as the people responsible for upholding the law did nothing while the duly constituted authorities of the province were unjustly threatened. This inaction betrays the partisan manner by which laws are enforced in the locality and contrary to the precepts of good governance."

So we ask - si Among Ed, kaya ba niya? Asan ang prueba? Security lang ng opisina niya, wala ng ibuga, e ano pa ang kaya nya? Isn't he is governor now, doesn't he know his powers? Part of his test is to make those powers work.

Ano siya, lone ranger or plain tonto?

C'mon guys, let "Among Ed" show what he is really worth before we go gaga behind him. Other than fixing the income of Pampanga from the aggregates that abound its rivers, what has this priest really done? Masyado na tayong na-condition reflex ng pagnanakaw ng mga Lapid at ng jueteng ng mga Pineda, na pag hindi nagnakaw at hindi tumanggap ng suhol from gambling lords, e bida na. My goodness, job description pa lang yan ng isang elected o appointed public official, just as they say it, public office is public trust.

Read my lips - public officials are not really supposed to steal. In fact, wala namang taong dapat nagnanakaw.

Ang babaw ng kaligayahan natin, besides that ano pa? Kailangan circumspective naman tayo. What happened at the kapitolyo is a police matter. Among Ed is not an ordinary helpless citizen. He is the governor of Pampanga. All he has to do is enforce the law.

So please do not bloat this issue. If he cannot secure his own office, how can he secure his constituency? In fact, I find him negligent that those mischievous demonstrators managed to kick the door of his office. He owes it at least to his rahrah boys to keep himself safe and alive. If the police and military cannot secure him, he must deputize people who by law are allowed to secure public officials like him. I have worked for many public officials and we have always designed our physical security and handpicked deputies who can deliver.

Hindi magandang reflection sa management capability nya yun. Certainly people who think he is presidentiable must have second thoughts. Kapitolyo lang walang adequate security, e paano pag Malacanang na yan?

Also, one Kapampangan at a time. Not too long ago, we ended up with the most qualified person ever to be proclaimed president. So the middle class bought the glitter of her brownie points. But because everybody knows she cheated her way, she never really got the mandate of the rest of the nation. Still the nation closed their eyes just because, Fernando Poe was unacceptable to their elitist culture. She mistook that to be impunity and what we now know is she has continued to steal from government to redistribute the wealth to those who insures her survival. So no programs ever got funded, except by foreign borrowings, and we are in a worse mess than we were during Erap's time.

Thus no more instant and self-styled saviors! We always created a problem for every solution because we resort to favorites without really being backed by a hard track record. Ano ba talaga ang silbi nitong si Among Ed, except to inspire. We need more than hot air. Noli de Castro also inspires and so does Mike Velarde but they take their security seriously. Reality check na ang Pinas. And the only thing needed is a small push towards productivity because remittances from abroad is already able to balance our financial act. But one must be alive and secured so that he can deliver and sustain the goodness he wants share with his people. No more heroic Ninoys, but dead.

In fairness to the beleaguered governor, huwag nating ubusin ang goodwill niya by shouting "wolf" everytime something adverse happens to him.

For now, our present appetite is to come to the aid of 14-year old Bino de la Paz who allegedly "mauled" a muslim mayor and his gun totting bodyguards over a golf issue, and his sister Bambee who seemingly hurt the feelings of Secretary Nasser Pangandaman through her blog and has now been sued for libel.

Bino and Bambee inspires even more. They look adolescent, but it appears that they can deliver against giants. Better yet, they know how to use resources within their short reach to connect to the long arm of the law.

Definitely not lone rangers, and definitely not tontos.

Ado Paglinawan is a former press officer of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC who occasionally contributes to the Philippines Daily Inquirer. He writes for various email groups and blogs under the pseudonym "mymaestro888". Ado has best served overseas Filipinos as a resource person providing inside information and backgrounders about the celebrated fertilizer scam that rocked the Philippine Agriculture Department and the Presidency since 2004.

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