The Thorny Plant that Bothers the Roses

Low Rating on Governor’s Performance is Ironic
By Elen Francisco
Letter to the Editor - Philippine Daily Inqauirer

In its July 8 issue, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that a traders’ group had joined the Pampanga Mayor’s League in giving Pampanga province’s Gov. Ed Panlilio “a failing grade” in governance.

How ironic that they should rate Governor Panlilio so despite his team’s success in increasing the quarry collections to P200 million in one year. Remember these were the same mayors and traders (or most of them) who tacitly gave former governors Lito Lapid and Mark Lapid passing grades for a P15-million-a-year quarry collection; the same people who never lifted a finger to the allegations that the Lapids pocketed quarry collections to the tune of billions of pesos in the 12 years father and son were in the provincial capitol.

It was very obvious that the Pampanga Mayors’ League (led by its spokesperson Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba town) trooped to Manila for a press conference denouncing Governor Panlilio for mismanagement two days after he filed a plunder case against Bong Pineda. The intersecting interests of the Pampanga mayors and the Pinedas betray the real motives of the mayors.

If Pelayo wants to blame anybody for government inaction, he should look to his dearest President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. There is a dilapidated nine-kilometer national road leading to his town. Pelayo can’t blame the governor for the condition of the road because it is a national road.

By the way, one week after the publication by the Inquirer of a letter to the editor complaining of that dilapidated national highway, billboards announcing its rehabilitation were put up. On the billboards were the pictures of President Arroyo and Rep. Dong Gonzales. As expected, two months have passed since the billboards were erected. Until now nothing has been done about the road.

Pelayo and his colleagues may not be aware of it, but the recovery of the dignity of and respect for the Kapampangan race is the greatest achievement of Governor Panlilio and the people of Pampanga so far. (Unfortunately, a number of of Kapampangans continue to be a disgrace to the nation.)

Among the plants in the garden, there are those with flowers and thorns. Sometimes they engage among themselves thorns for thorns, flowers for flowers. Yet the bees and butterflies in the garden could care less but the nectar that the flowers provide.

Thorns exist to protect the fragile. They are irritating to the harmful but harmless to the careful.