"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

David vs Ms. Goliath

Now that the presidential contest has come to a statistical deadlock, I would like to bring the attention of the yahoo groups and global websites to other more edifying developments in local politics.

In the small town in Metro Manila called San Juan, the first mistress of Joseph Erap Estrada, Guia Gomez is running for the position to be vacated by the outgoing mayor, her son J.V.Ejercito.

Opposing her under the cause of good governance is Glenn Angeles, an unassuming lanky widower who is the grandson of Maximo Reyes Angeles, the first mayor of San Juan.

Glenn first ran as councilor and then vice mayor but could not get through the thick Ejercito cabal of traditional politics.

Now he is eyeing at the hizzoner's seat once and for all, because he is alarmed by the fact that the family scandal of the former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada is now being escalated to the top leadership of their small city.

Angeles said "When Erap's legal and moral wife Loi (Luisa Pimentel-Ejercito) ran for the same position many years back, we all supported her. But the matter of the first mistress following her footsteps is some thing else. 'Wala na ba tayong hiya? Wala na tayong dangal?' (Have we no shame, have we no dignity?) This is just going too far."

This widespread indignation is being shared by many voters of San Juan, because what aggravates this moral issue is that Guia Gomez' son J.V. who is running for congressman of the city's only district, did not perform well as mayor.

San Juan under the Ejercitos have been run like a close family franchise. Fleecing the local municipal budget and mulcting local businesses has been the standard operating practice. The market is dirty and has become the beehive of wheeler dealers and drug pushers, the city has deteriorated as site of choice for warehouse of technically smuggled and prohibited goods, traffic has gotten worse each year, education and health services stagnated and overpopulation created ghettoes, policemen turned lazy and violations of human rights became rampant. In short, the town became one big toilet.

This has irked Glenn Angeles, whose grandfather built the San Juan Public Market, the San Juan Municipal Hall and the Sta. Lucia Elementary School two generations ago.

His father, Pabling Angeles, had 28 years of public service, the last of which was serving as vice mayor of the city.

Glenn envisions a new San Juan where the fruits of Metro Manila's newest city will redound to visible public improvements, where the people can roam the city free from drug related crimes and violations of human rights, and live proudly and comfortably.

As a member of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life and its ministry for mature single men Servants of the Lord (SOLD), he busies himself conducting Christian Life Seminars for San Juan constituents and other detainees at the Bicutan Drug Rehabilitation Center. As part of its Prison Ministry, Glenn is also active with SOLD lawyers defending poor litigants and victims of human rights abuses.

Angeles wants to wrest the public market away from the control of relatives and political cohorts of the incumbent family and restore it to truly serve the heartbeat of the people, free from petty and bigtime usurers. The mayoralty candidate envisions a Kapitbahayan Program or neighborhood alliances that together with a people-oriented police and firefighters force will make San Juan's inner streets and residents safe.

He is also proposing to conduct a social service survey and profiling of his constituents' needs especially of the city's less fortunate residents. "The seemingly perpetual Ejercito dynasty is in denial that we still have slums in our city. Our population density is one of the highest in Metro Manila, and this given our crowded streets have engendered real endemic problems," he said.

Glenn Angeles does not have a complicated party or machinery to fund so he does not owe any vested interests any fear or favor. No giant billboards and expensive media ads to recover expenses for; his main campaign occupation is to distribute his half-a-page leaflet and in going house-to-house explain to his constituents what he is all about and what his dreams for San Juan are. This is most doable because the city has only 21 barangays in a total area of 3 square miles.

Like any candidate of Ang Kapatiran Party, his political capital are integrity, sincerity and a servant heart that he is offering his birthplace and his beloved citizenry.

Those who wish to join this cause for moral and political reform in San Juan City, can email "Ang Kapatiran" where you can also ask how you can send your contributions to Glenn Angeles for Mayor of San Juan directly.

Godspeed to you all.

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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