Catholic priest to run for president


A Filipino priest, elected provincial governor in northern Philippines, said God has called him to run in the presidential race next year.

Gov. Eddie Panlilio, 55, who became the first Filipino priest to sit in public office, said he loves his priesthood very much, but he might be forced to leave it for the sake of the nation.

The priest-turned-politician is now very busy going around the country to complete their slate of candidates for the 2010 national elections. The governor, however, stressed his decision is not yet final since he still needs to feel the public pulse and acceptance of his candidacy.

Panlilio, who is suspended from performing priestly duties for entering politics, defeated two administration candidates in a close race for the governorship in Pampanga in 2007.

If elected, Panlilio said his administration would focus on the areas of livelihood, health, food security, and would address the problem of insurgency and corruption.