Monday, January 5, 2009

Gov. Panlilio's Formal Statement on Jan. 5 Incident at the Provincial Capitol

Yesterday, at about 9:30 in the morning, several rallyists composed of former provincial checkers and members of Pampanga truckers with their drivers and helpers barged into the provincial capitol and proceeded to the second floor kicking door attempting to enter my office. The door was forced open. The rallyists retreated upon noting that my security officers were ready to engage them in combat and protect me from any imminent danger.

Undaunted, the rallyists proceeded to the office of the provincial administrator and likewise attempted to barge into her office knowing fully well that there are no security officers who would protect her. Fortunately enough, her staff immediately locked the doors when they heard the rallyists going up the second floor lobby.

After some minutes, the rallyists went down, leaving the employees shaken by the incident. This is the provincial capitol. The seat of power in the province. And yet, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan did not see fit to protect us but opened the door for these incidents to happen by unceremoniously and illegally declaring the Macario Arnedo as a freedom park.

Not satisfied, at about 11:30 yesterday, the rallyists repeatedly hit and attacked my two nephews who are here in the country for a vacation. They are here at the capitol to see me. Their infraction: my nephews attempted to tear down the offensive streamers put up by the former checkers. The very same streamers for which i filed charges against these rallyists. The very same streamers fow which I have instructed Col. Singian to put down, if not arrest the rallyists for violating the law. At the time my nephews were being beaten, some policemen are just stone's throw away.

For several months now, we have endured the daily insults thrown at us by these rallyists. Malicious, offensive streamers hung around the park and their trucks carrying libelous, suggestive pictures of me and Atty. Dabu were roving the province.

What happened yesterday merely accentuated the marked incompetence of our police force. For several months now, I have been asking Col. Singian to arrest the rallyists. Yesterday morning, I have asked Col. Singian to effect the arrest against the rallyists who attempted to harm me. Since they were not immediately arrested, two of those rallyists hit my nephews. I again asked Col. Singian to arrest them. Col. Singian and his men dilly-dallied till the period to arrest had lapsed. Till this morning nothing happened. No arrest was made and none will be made.

And so today, I appear before you to express my condemnation to these acts.

To the rallyists, who did not follow the rule of law. They held the rally without permit and even barged into the provincial capitol attempting to harm me. This attack is not merely an attack to me as a person but an attack to the very office I now hold, the office of the Governor, an attack to the people of Pampanga. To the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, who violated both law and wisdom in declaring the Macario Arnedo park as freedom park. To the police officers in this province, whose ineptitude and incompetence put me and the lives of others in danger.

For more than 18 months now, I have been asking the President no less to replace Col. Keith Singian to no avail. Today, I am raising again my voice calling the PNP leadership, the DILG Secretary, and the President for the relief of Col. Singian, Col. Medina, the Chief of Police of the City of San Fernando, and their men for gross dereliction of duty and incompetence. And so, today, I am personally filing my petition for their relief to the office of the DILG Secretary, the Chief PNP and the NAPOLCOM.

Lastly, I am appealing to our well-meaning kabalens to open their eyes and be involved. These despicable acts are not merely due to the ineptitude of the police officers, the lack of wisdom of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the disrespect of authority and law of the rallyists. Theses loathsome acts are orchestrated by people who from day one do not wish me to stay a single day longer as Governor of this province. Their recount and recall move had failed. Their last resort is to discredit me, to malign me in public, to humiliate me, to intimidate me and to make it appear that I am not fit to govern.

Should it take young, idealistic men who saw evil of those posters and streamers to make us realize that we have been lethargic in fighting the evil around us? We love this province. Should we remain silent and indifferent by what is happening around us? Please remember, evil triumphs when good men do nothing.

Governor Eddie T. Panlilio
Province of Pampanga
January 06, 2009

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