‘Battle of the IDs’ now on in Angeles-A A +A
Thursday, March 21, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The race for the mayoralty post in Angeles City continues to take twists and turns, as it now takes on the battle of political affiliation identification cards (IDs).
Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, during his regular Kapihan forum, showed to mediamen several Team Lazatin ID cards which, he said, were reportedly surrendered to him.
Pamintuan also noted that the ID cards are tools for alleged vote buying which must be stopped immediately.
“The Team Lazatin red IDs are evidence of pay-off, as each holder is given P300. They say no to corruption, but they are actually corrupting the people,” Pamintuan said.
Pamintuan said traditional and dirty politicians are treating the people like commodities that they can simply buy during elections.
However, IC Calaguas, chief of staff of Representative Carmelo Lazatin (first district), said: “There they go again. Binabaligtad na naman nila where in fact, iyung Abe Kapampangan cards nila na priority cards for services daw ang bayad ng P500 bawat cardholder. Puro kasinungalingan na lang lahat ng alam nila because it seems they are lagging behind sa laban.”
She said that the free Team Lazatin cards are mere IDs of loyal leaders of Lazatin, with a strong anti-corruption call at the back, unlike the Agyu Tamu ID, Pamintuan’s ID cards, which extends priority and privileges to preferred holders for government services, including using it as a safe pass from traffic violations.
The Partido Abe Kapampangan, in retaliation, said the Pamintuan IDs issued to its members are “proof of membership” and not privilege cards as alleged by the camp of Lazatin.
“AbeKa card holders are not paid. The IDs are given for free,” said William Aguilar, AbeKa deputy secretary general.
He said the Agyu Tamu IDs are old IDs issued in 2010.
“The Pamintuan administration does not give preferential treatment or services to anyone; when in fact it has already assisted thousands of Angelenos through its different programs especially on health services,” Aguilar said.
Calaguas said: “Their (Pamintuan’s) IDs are the ones questionable. We have more than 100 of those surrendered to us for free because the cardholders told us that they are not contented with the way things are going at the Pamintuan camp. Iyun naming sinasabi nilang IDs naming na surrendered daw ng aming supporters, ay kanilang binili sa halagang P700 each. In fact, there is one ‘Masing’ from their group going around EPZA and Northville buying our cards.”
Aguilar noted that the present AbeKa cards have the picture of the bearer and not the photo of Pamintuan and at the back are the four basic party principles.
Early news reports indicate that leaders of the have been conducting massive vote-buying operations of urban poor families in Northville, Epza resettlement and other communities in Angeles City.
Relatives of AbeKa members reported the scheme and have voluntarily surrendered their IDs to the camp of Pamintuan.
“Their votes are not for sale, they told us. They may take the money given to them but they will still vote for Mayor EdPam,” Aguilar said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 22, 2013.