TO  PANLILIO:  SPARE  GMA  FROM  BASELESS  RAPS  ON  JUETENG 

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Lilia Pineda]

LUBAO, PAMPANGA, FEBRUARY 21, 2009 (STAR) By Ding Cervantes -  Former provincial board member Lilia Pineda yesterday appealed to Gov. Ed Panlilio to spare President Arroyo from “totally baseless” allegations of involvement in jueteng operations in this province.

“I think she is hurt by such baseless allegations. She would not expect that her cabalen would make such claims despite her efforts to improve the plight of her province,” Pineda told reporters.

Earlier, Panlilio had said the influence of jueteng “has already infiltrated politics, the church, and even the government” and has even reached Malacañang.

He said the small time lottery (STL) of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is being used as a front for jueteng, and that about 80 percent of STL bets go to the illegal numbers game.

Shedding tears, Pineda urged Panlilio to hold a “one-on-one meeting” with the President to iron out his differences with the administration to maximize the delivery of services to Pampanga folk.

“Local governments have enough powers and local government executives have the capabilities to solve problems within their turf,” she said.

Pineda was the mayor of Lubao and president of the Pampanga Mayors’ League during Mrs. Arroyo’s stint as senator.

She later served three terms as provincial board member until she ran for governor and was defeated by Panlilio in the May 2007 polls.

Pineda has a pending electoral protest against Panlilio. Her supporters formed the Kambilan at Kapanalig da reng Memalen Pampanga (Kambilan) and filed a recall petition against the governor. The Commission on Elections has yet to act on the recall petition.

“I do not care if critics continue to criticize me and my family, but I just want the President not to be dragged into a baseless controversy that could put her internationally in bad light,” she said.

While she hailed Panlilio for being “not corrupt,” Pineda urged Panlilio not to waste the few remaining months of his and the President’s term in conflicts.

Pineda’s husband Bong was tagged as a jueteng lord during the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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