The Battle for Angeles-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Sunday, January 6, 2013
THE suspension of hostilities during the Yuletide between the AFP and the NPA, on one side, and Tarzan-Edpam on the other, gave the populace a well-deserved respite and sober thoughts.
A sense of relief from the irritating and boring repetitions of mudslinging was reported from many communities. Knowledgeable citizens view the “dirty” tactics from whichever side as a natural and expected phase of the campaign.
As in the natural cycle of things, it is expected that the early mudslinging comprises the first phase of the stiff political competition. The second phase starting this week will bring the candidates to a better light. Phase 2 is more developmental, positive, and be intended to sell the product (aspirant). Phase 1 ending the last week of 2012 was a campaign to show the bad side of the rivals. Black propaganda is the new normal as the aggressor throws everything including the “inidoro” to the object of denigration.
The public had enough of the dirt and scandals, true or imagined. The voters know when the issues are exaggerated and blown beyond proportion. Now is the time to weigh the products, as it were, and view their total desirability. It is the time to evaluate the track records and promised performances of the candidates.
From another paper the achievements of Congressman Lazatin were listed, for instance, taking two or three columns to portray his congressional achievements. These are factual claims which present Tarzan’s outstanding performance as a lawmaker.
Highlight of his fine work were some 185 bills and resolutions to which his name appeared as co-author, or sponsor. He drew admirers from many sectors when he proposed the establishment of Disneyland at Clark, a project that would cost billions in dollars (US).
Mayor Edpam has not come up with a similar blockbuster concept. But the public loves his proposal to build a public cemetery with a crematorium for the poor. If he wins another term, this much-needed burial place for thousands of families in the lower social class will be served.
While both Edpam and Tarzan claimed credit for the improvement and expansion of the Ospital ning Angeles, renamed after Lazatin’s father, it is the present City Hall occupant who initiated modern undertakings to upgrade the medical facilities like the Renal Care Unit.
Pamintuan also pledged to build a cancer treatment center at the city hospital. He prides in his US sponsors/donors and the support of medical organizations that would make this possible.
While the Lazatin camp stepped up its social amelioration work by the wide distribution of Christmas gifts “Mula sa Puso,” the Angeles City government distributed thousands of Philhealth cards. It also garnered a high mark in the Survey of Enterprises on Corruption conducted by the Social Weather Stations. The ranking showed proof of local efforts to curb graft and corruption as recognized by local businessmen and entrepreneurs, according to the SWS.
Pamintuan will be left a mile behind by Lazatin’s premium brand of 185 bills in Congress, a record that proves he is a good lawmaker. The city mayor is catching up the honors department.
He had reaped the Seal of Good Housekeeping award from DILG; Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Award; No.1 in Central Luzon and No.6 nationwide in the Local Governance Performance Management System.
He was cited as one of the 7 Most Outstanding Mayors of the Philippines by Superbrands Int’l, an honor not achieved by Mayor Lazatin in his three terms.
To be fair, Cong. Tarzan was honored three times as Outstanding Congressman and Most Outstanding Kapampangan in 2011. He set the pace in winning honors and awards as lawmaker.
Now is the start of Phase 2 of the campaign. The first phase was a heated name-calling, mudslinging contest. A kettle should not call a pot black. Politicians should always remember this eternal wisdom.
In the final analysis, Angeles residents will decide on the controversial issue of Experience (Tarzan) versus Youth (EdPam). That is the main battle front.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 07, 2013.