Given everything that’s happened to the LP – and, heck, Philippine politics in general – hearing stuff like Sen. Kiko Pangilinan sticking to his guns is a whiff of fresh air.
It’s like I always said: leaders who have the gall to take the moral high ground should not be afraid to also take the hard route usually associated with that choice. And when a leader puts his money where his mouth is, then that person deserves the title. And one’s respect.
I remember seeing Sen. Pangilinan being interviewed over his decision to not attend “Genuine Opposition” (side note: so there’s an opposition that’s not Genuine?) campaign sorties. In essence, what Sen. Kiko was saying was that he cannot, in good conscience, join the ticket led by a man he helped oust in 2001, in the same way that he won’t join the lineup formed by the woman whose he asked be resigned or removed from the presidency in 2005.
Now this is what it means to stand for something. This is consistency. In my post-July 8 gestalt, the true measure of a leader can be found in just how consistent he or she is with regard to positions. Basically, a leader says one thing, it has to reflect in all his or her decisions and actions. For example, you can’t demand for the ouster of someone based on immorality while having your hands raised by another who was the very embodiment of the same. Well, at least of ammorality, but if Noynoy seeks to use the Moral High Ground as basis for election to higher office, indeed for the legitimacy of his faction of the LP… then standing, all smiles, hand raised, with Erap somehow just doesn’t cut a dashing figure of the Hero in my books.
Sen. Kiko, by his decision to tough it out as an independent, has shown his true caliber. Perhaps its a well calculated move. Maybe he isn’t as disadvantaged as he appears, since he has a not-so-secret weapon in wife Sharon and daughter KC. It may even be a fit of pique at not being a prime choice for a slot in the so-called GO.
But whatever the reasons, Sen. Kiko told the public of his decision and, IMHO, its the right one. That way, none of his principles are compromised, no excuses need to be made as to why “Mr. Noted” is now with the man whose friend he supposedly helped keep from the presidency.
And that’s why he has my vote this May.