Mayor hits back: No corruption in Angeles City-A A +A
Monday, October 8, 2012
ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan has dismissed allegations of corruption at the City Hall by Representative Carmelo Lazatin, describing it as a “product of desperation and bankruptcy of issues.”
“For the first time in his long political career, he is facing a formidable challenge and he is so desperate he is clinging to straws and has resorted to lying even to himself and his own people,” Pamintuan said.
Pamintuan was referring to the “staged filing” of Lazatin of his certificate of candidacy (COC) last Friday, when according to records of the Commission on Elections, a representative of Lazatin already filed the COCs of the entire Team Lazatin slate a day earlier.
“The best argument against Lazatin’s charges are the awards given to the city, particularly the ‘seal of good housekeeping’ awarded by the late Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government to the Angeles City government for good governance, transparency and graft-free local government,” Pamintuan said.
He added that Lazatin is “obviously suffering from bankruptcy of issues against me that he is indiscriminately hurling charges that could backfire on him and his running mates, particularly on former mayor Francis Nepomuceno.”
“This is the first time in the history of Angeles City that we received such prestigious accolades. On the other hand, Angeles City stagnated during the nine years of Lazatin as mayor,” Pamintuan said.
Pamintuan also denied Lazatin’s allegations that the City Hall is bankrupt.
“Again, Lazatin is lying. We can proudly say that the salaries of permanent, contractual, casual and coterminous employees are paid on time. Also, we are even paying the gargantuan city’s debts including P330 million during Lazatin’s time and P800 million during Nepomuceno’s term,” the mayor said.
Pamintuan also said that on the night of October 4 (Thursday), a “text blast” coming from Irish Bonus, a staff member of Lazatin, announced the filing of Lazatin and his team’s COC.
Lazatin is eyeing the city mayor post again.
But the text had an intriguing message, Pamintuan said.
“We plead for your support on this because we were informed that the green team will not allow the entry of Team Lazatin at the City Hall premises,” the message read.
Early morning the next day, Lazatin and his red-shirted supporters came in a motorcade to the City Hall ahead of Pamintuan’s team, who were still massing up in front of Marquee Mall for a planned short march to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office at city hall, the mayor added.
Pamintuan said that after an abbreviated program on board a truck at City Hall front parking lot, the Lazatin team proceeded to the Comelec office at the back of City Hall.
He added that at the steps of the Comelec, Lazatin raised the hands of his team of four candidates for councilor for the traditional photo of politicians.
“They were just there for the so-called photo op,” he said.
According to the records of the Comelec, Bonus came a day earlier (Thursday) and filed the COCs on behalf of the team. The COCs were received at 4:31 p.m. Thursday, according to a copy of the document, Pamintuan said.
“On the first day of his official political engagement, Lazatin lied in two instances,” said Alexander Cauguiran, president of the Partido Abe Kapampangan (Abe).
“The first lie was about the filing of his COC on Friday, when in fact he already did it on Thursday. The second lie was his text that he will be barred from filing by our team,” Cauguiran said.
Pamintuan said he was not amused. “I am saddened that he should resort to these tactics to launch his candidacy.”
“He even deceived his own people, even if he reportedly paid them,” he added.
“I am afraid that Lazatin already showed how he will conduct his campaign. In fact, he started with black propaganda much earlier by coming out with a sticker that says ‘Bulok na, palitan na!’ which could very well refer to himself,” Pamintuan said.
“I hope our people will discern on his tactics,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 09, 2012.