“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert…”
The minute the news broke through the web and TV about Pampanga Priest-Governor Ed Panlilio eyeing the 2010 Presidential Election, massive reactions from the acerbic to the supportive erupted far and beyond our territorial baselines. Responding to a media interview, Gov. Panlilio in his usual confidence honed in the pulpit and years of social action work, is discerning over the possibility because need for an alternative choice aside, there is a growing support here and abroad. As an alternative candidate in tandem with Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, he is nurturing a vision of running a campaign that will be fueled by the voters’ “peso contribution” in lieu of the traditional cashing out of millions just to win.
And the massive reactions? Some bashed him with Bible graphics, calling it the pinnacle of Panlilio’s desert temptation. For others, it is a flight of pride from his Pampanga’s alleged leadership shortcomings. Others pegged him as lacking in experience and education, and the time to prove his political savvy. Still others prophesied his lack of political appeal especially for Congress, and minus the backing of a strong political party, the decision is heading towards disaster. Yes, even if he wins some said. The other side of the fence are those glued to their conviction that the “peso contribution” is an appealing, if not, a revolutionary one that bodes well with what participatory democracy is, and hence, a break from the bottomless corruption that drags this dreaded nation into spiralling hunger and violence and mistrust.
I have been praying for the gift of a leader. Whether I will cast my support as an ordinary citizen and unknown blogger for Among Ed remains under the rhythm of my own discernment. The mention of the political repercussions of his soon final decision to run does not fall within my blogging goals. All I know is that politics is full of traps and temptations and they are now beginning to strut even before his discerned-over decision.
The kind of leader I have been praying and wishing for does not have to be “The Anointed One”; should not have a self-confessed or others-imposed sort of idea. I am praying for the lesser evil because I know that faith and politics are the strangest of bedfellows. I know that among the millions, I for one am hungry for a safe life in this country and so far, there are more serpents in our national desert that continue to bite ordinary travellers through grand machinations and abuse of their power and influence. That among the millions, I long for that political serpent in the desert who best heals our mistrust of government and hatred and greed. I know that there is a dangerous serpent in me. But I also know that it’s the same serpent of personal power and healing possibilities that I can trust and cannot be bought by the sneaky seductions of those who would hand in their “apples” come 2010 Election. It’s my saved serpent I have to believe and trust.
Photo Credit: Bikoy