Lazatin among Top 10 absentee congressmen-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
ANGELES CITY -- Just a week after Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan was voted in the Top 10 World Mayors by the London-based City Mayors Foundation (CMF), it was revealed that Pampanga’s first district representative to the Philippine Congress, Carmelo Lazatin, is among the top 10 absentee congressmen.
In a news report published by Rappler.com, Lazatin was named as among the top 10 members of the House of Representatives with the most number of recorded absences in 2012.
“Talaga po na nakakahiya itong balitang ito. Hindi po maganda ito para sa image ng aming lungsod. Pinatutunayan nito ang aming mga hinala at ang kumakalat na balita na hindi na nga nakakapag-report si Ginoong Tarzan sa Kongreso dahil nga sa hindi kaya ng kanyang katawan,” said Pepito Julian, president of the Cooperative of Former Barangay Chairmen of Angeles City.
“Last year, the City Government of Angeles landed among the Top 10 cities of the country for the second consecutive year, and our city mayor, Edgardo Pamintuan, was one of the seven most outstanding mayors as chosen by the prestigious Superbrands Incorporated. Kaya talaga pong nakakapanghina ang balitang ang congressman ng lungsod na si Tarzan Lazatin ay top 10 din, top 10 sa dami ng absences. Kung grado sa eskwelahan ang pag-uusapan, tiyak tayo na bagsak po siya sa dami ng hindi niya pagpasok,” said Aymer Alvarado, a member of the cooperative and former chairman of Barangay Sto. Cristo.
John Sladky, former barangay chair of Agapito del Rosario, added: “Ang higit na nakakahiya ay mas marami pang absences si Tarzan kaysa sa dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, na alam naman natin na may sakit at inilagay sa hospital arrest. Sa katunayan ay wala pa sa kalahati ng 61 session days ang ipinasok ni Ginoong Tarzan. Kailangan po niya itong ipaliwanag. Kung sa kongreso po ay hindi na siya nakakapasok, ano po ang maaasahan natin sa kanya kung magiging alkalde siya? Malamang ay wala.”
Earlier this month, some 29 former barangay chairmen in this city have asked House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to reveal the July 2010 to December 2012 congressional attendance of Lazatin.
In a formal letter dated January 7, 2013 and received at the Office of the Speaker on January 10, 2013, the former village chiefs requested Speaker Belmonte to furnish the group a copy of the July 2010 to December 2012 attendance of Lazatin.
But IC Calaguas, chief political affairs officer of first district Representative Lazatin, said Thursday that “it is not surprising that they found Congressman Lazatin’s office empty. Congress is not even in session yet.”
Residents of Angeles City also supposedly snapped a photo of Lazatin’s empty office on January 10.
“Of course, the congressman’s office is empty during the time they took that picture, since as of the moment, Congress is still in recess,” Calaguas said. “Sessions will resume on January 21.”
According to the legislative calendar, sessions in Congress are adjourned from December 22, 2012 until January 20, 2013. Sessions officially resume on January 21 and will run until February 8, 2013.
“This is obviously a politically-motivated action meant to tarnish the reputation of Congressman Lazatin,” Calaguas said. “In the desperation of the Pamintuan camp, they sic their lackeys on the congressman and turn to underhanded means just to discredit him.”
Calaguas said that while the Lazatin camp welcomes the former chairmen’s queries, as they have the right to such, she encouraged the former chairmen to first explain to the citizens of Angeles just what exactly they are doing as job order employees of the City Government.
At least three of the former barangay chairmen who asked Belmonte for Lazatin’s attendance record have been previously revealed to be included in the job order appointment of the Pamintuan administration.
Aymer Alvarado, former chairman of Barangay Santo Cristo, John Sladky, former chairman of Barangay Agapito Del Rosario, and Reynaldo Pamintuan, former chairman of Barangay Ninoy Aquino are all reportedly receiving a daily salary of P272 per day from the City Government.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 18, 2013.