This is interesting, more than what we can imagine!
If Prof. Randy David pursues his plan to run for Congress as a Representative of Pampanga and provide an alternative candidacy (a balancing act against GMA running again in politics via a seat in Congress through Pampanga's district), his move is something new in Philippine politics in many ways.
We have seen many lawyers and businessmen who ran, won or lost in elections. We also witnessed how Churchmen won and have to face all the trials and challenges in the affairs of governing (classic case: Gov. Among Ed Panlilio). In fact we are not really new to seeing "long-shot" candidacy (what have we really learned from the Kapatiran campaign?).
But we have not really seen how academics, like Prof. Randy David, can fare if he decides to run in the dirty world of politics (made dirty of course by parochial and filthy politicians) -- a kind of politics whose virtues are so incongruous and paradoxical with the ideals espoused and practiced in the world of the academe. But through his activism and journalism, Prof. David is certainly not new in engaging government institutions and processes; he is not a naive arm-chair academician!
Surely, Prof. David has all that it takes to run and win in Philippine politics in terms of competency and platform. The question now is: does Philippine politics have what it takes to accept the breed of a Randy David?
Prof. Randy David is a foremost sociologist, a respected columnist, a social scientist, a political analyst, a multi-awarded professor, and a published author (he has published so many books about the country and its social institutions). In Ehem, we use his discourse on the definition of corruption (Inquirer column, 05 December 2004). Prof. Randy David also wrote a blurb (endorsement) on my book, Fixing Society (2007) where he exhorted: "‘To fix’ is the euphemism used to designate nearly every corrupt practice in Philippine society. It highlights the functional side of corruption, the main reason for its persistence. Here, for the first time, is a detailed exploration of the world of “fixers.” The fascinating insights of this richly-documented work can be the starting point of a meaningful agenda to combat corruption." Prof. Randy David is an eminent teacher of anticorruption!
Many fear that Prof. Randy David will be gobbled up in fighting a losing battle if he runs for public post. Especially in Pampanga! Especially against GMA! Especially with no formidable machinery!
Will he thread the path of Among Ed? Will he turn out to be an Among Ed? Or like Among Ed, will he benefit from some tipping point in Pampanga? Or will he be like a Kapatiran? Or maybe he can be like Naga's Jess Robredo or Isabela's Grace Padaca?
His plans and intentions are very interesting! If he wins, his candidacy can alter the political terrain in Pampanga in particular, and the Philippines in general. If he loses, will he -- and all that he represents -- be relegated to oblivion? Is it worth it, after all? This is the main question! Very interesting!
A quote from Robert Kennedy is resonating: "Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous army of the world's ills - against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single person."
Indeed, can academe and politics mix? There's no way of saying, until Prof. Randy David pursues his plans!