Tarzan without Baggage-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
LAST WEEK’S bruising exchanges between City Mayor Ed Pamintuan and Congressman Tarzan Lazatin was all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
It is but the icing on the cake to whet public appetite on what is yet to come.
Angeleños care less if Cong. Tarzan grabbed the credit for reconstruction of the Leoncia Bridge on the Circumferential Road. It is enough the project has been completed. Likewise local residents do not make a big deal if the new projects of Mayor Edpam have fallen short of their time frame or unblemished perfection. It is enough that they have been started, are being executed, and going to be completed.
You tag the mayor a faulty implementor or call the congressman a credit grabber, nothing changes the fact that the residents will benefit from the new bridge and the ongoing infrastructure being undertaken by the city administration.
This corner calls their fight even. The fresh street brawl between two formidable rivals, both of whom had a common benefactor and protector in former President Arroyo, is a preview of future and more abrasive encounters.
An aspect which Edpam will be put to disadvantage though is the smart strategy of Tarzan in not having a running mate.
Time and again, a mayoral candidate who runs without a vice mayor has better chances of getting elected. By not putting a candidate for vice mayor, Lazatin attracts the support of all other VM bets.
He has done it before with VM bets Vicky and Jericho, who both supported him. Simply put, the Cong. does not want a “baggage” in his campaign. His VM will be the common target of the other four aspirants whose legion of followers may have sympathy for Tarzan. His running mate automatically becomes the enemy of the other rivals. You can be sure their support and loyalty to Tarzan would turn to singular enmity against the tandem.
As of now, Lazatin is courting the sympathy of the five vice mayoral bets who have varying strength and mass influence. He will not put a VM bet so as not to lose this multi-diversity of support.
It is not too late for Mayor Edpam to do likewise and fight Lazatin in his own game. Pamintuan, too, has large following and wide sympathy from the big groups putting up the other vice mayoral bets. A VM running mate for Edpam will be a magnet that will attract hostility and obstructions from said groups who are in fact quietly sympathetic and supportive to him.
Edpam, by not having a running mate, will certainly have the five aspirants gravitating to himself, being the incumbent who can dispense favors and influence. Tarzan has done the smartest move but Edpam can play the game in his own term. In war as in politics, there is no substitute for victory.
Candaba politicians have never learned their lessons after repeated and vain attempts to topple the Bondocs from Congress.
No local son of the town had succeeded to dislodge the sister-brother tandem who seemed to have a perpetual entitlement to the 4th district. This curse of divisiveness among the local leaders will be reprised again with Mayor Jerry Pelayo and Board Member Ric Yabut contesting yet unbeaten Rimpy Bondoc of Macabebe.
Jerry and Ric are certain to divide their forces. Rather than wage a battle to win over Bondoc, they are fighting for their own selfish pride.
This curse cannot simply be broken by exorcism. The town’s bad karma may be reversed by the reconciliation of ambitions, and the habitual divisiveness between favorite sons can be resolved by an ever loving and supportive mother, sino pa kundi si Nanay Baby.
All that is needed to do is for the Gov to ask Pelayo to have his son withdraw from the mayoral contest in Candaba and make BM Yabut the official candidate. This is the first step closer to winning the 4th District from the Bondocs.
Yabut may trepidate in contesting Rene Malanque, said to be a distant relative. But in the swampland, politics is thicker than blood.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 05, 2012.