Cityhood and Political Ambitions-A A +A
My Palm Notes
Friday, July 6, 2012
THE campaign for Cityhood is officially on.
Yes, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had given its go signal for a yes or no vote to Mabalacat’s Cityhood bid from July 5 to 19.
The Comelec, together with the local government of Mabalacat will be conducting massive information campaign during the said period. It is part of the ratification process where Mabalacat residents would confirm whether they want Mabalacat to become a city.
It is the ultimate approval after the cityhood bid had undergone legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate (thanks to Congressman Carmelo Lazation and Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. as prime movers of the bill). It is also the last step of affirmation after President Aquino signed Republic Act 10164 that calls for the town’s conversion into a component city of Pampanga.
While the exercise calls for a so-called “constructive discussion” that will delve on pros and cons of being converted into a city, I just wonder who in the world would campaign for a no vote?
The quick answer I think are people who would want to go against something beneficial, something that has been so painstakingly worked for by the LGU in order to advance their political careers.
Take for example Mabalacat Vice Mayor Noel Castro. He is said to be campaigning for a no vote.
I don’t exactly know what came to Castro, as to his reasons in conducting such. But as the way things are right now, he appears he could not stand his ground. He is inconsistent. His right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.
Had Castro forgotten that he has signed the Resolution passed by the very Municipal Council he presides that calls for the town’s conversion? Had he, all of a sudden, suffered amnesia? Or simply put, he did not know the very nature of what he had signed?
And not only did Castro sign that Resolution which was unanimously approved by the town council. He is the same presiding officer that gave the LGU’s imprimatur in allocating budget for the whole cityhood exercise (such as funding for Comelec for its conduct of plebiscite).
Why is it that all too suddenly he is now trying to take a shaky stance on something that he has supported from the past? I have also personally joined the lobby efforts of Mabalacat officials and employees in Congress and the god vice mayor was also present in one visit to Batasan, together with other SB members.
Other councilors who have also affixed their signatures in that same resolution better remain consistent and show how resolute they are in pushing for progress through cityhood. Joining Castro may not work to their advantage.
In order to show his firmness and integrity, Castro should have made his opposition to the cityhood bid from the very beginning of the whole process.
Too late the hero here for the good vice mayor. Again, as to the exact reasons why he appears to have flip-floppy, wishy-washy, Johnny come lately, one could not avoid but think of 2013 elections to be his basis.
Castro is said to be eyeing the mayoral post in next year’s elections. Less than one year after his victory as vice mayor two years ago, he has already indicated his preparations for the next elections. He has manifested that by hanging tarpaulins and signboards that bear “MKM, Noel Castro, 2013”
Little do I care in whatever the meaning of MKM (some say to be Mayor Ku Mabalacat). But I join countless many in saying that any politician who, on billboards, appends his name with “2013” would always be seen as gearing for the next elections. And that is what Castro has shown by posting those tarps.
I could not blame the vice mayor for being the early bird to have done that. He was just probably riding on the crest of his victory in 2010 where he won as independent candidate. And he deserved that victory (over Dr. Pros Lagman and the late Anthony Dee) I would say. He worked hard for it. He earned it.
That sweet and convincing victory is egging him to go for the top post of the soon-to-be city. And pushing for a no vote would be a good launchpad for his 2013 ambition.
As to up to where and what point he could be launched remains to be seen. That altogether is a different issue.
Meantime, the yes vote appears to be widely supported from a cross section of Mabalacat – business, religious, senior citizens, women, urban poor, etc.
Mabalacat Cityhood is a sure step to progress. Who would not want that?
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 07, 2012.