Miniang willing to help the ailing Chito Bacani-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
IN THE last two Congressional elections, Rep. Tarzan Lazatin won over his rivals by enormous margins.
He swept (nilampaso was the word) the young Gerard “Gepoy” Nepomuceno and three-termer city councilor Ares Yabut with the least effort and at minimal expense.
All these easy victories were made convenient -- if not facilitated -- by the half-famous and half-notorious Luisito “Sitong” Bacani of Barangay Lourdes and Angeles downtown.
Bacani, who belongs to the twilight zone of dreamers and street philosophers, although of the weird and incredible kind, is also known as “Sibak” and “Chito.”
His friends call him Chito when he acts and thinks like any normal guy, as when he plays chess at the rotunda area where he demonstrates his talent in outwitting fellow loafers and retired barbers, tailors and drunkards.
During Tarzan Lazatin’s congressional campaigns, when the call of duty entered his mind, he was called “Sibak”. In Pampango, “sibak” means to chop, and this is what he did to Tarzan’s hapless opponents -- Gepoy and Ares. This is a port manteau word for Sitong and Bacani (Sibak).
I will not repeat what Bacani, who also ran for the two congressional polls, painted of Tarzan’s rivals. The posters, placards and banners slandered his victims in ridicule, innuendo and dirty aspersions.
Our man “Sibak” did not touch Lazatin, his supposed rival. It became public knowledge that Tarzan was coddling and making use of Bacani’s uncanny ability to smear Lazatin’s opponents. The congressman thus appeared like an angel if not a gentleman of the highest order.
During those two Lazatin campaigns when candidate Bacani provided comic relief, but chiefly as spoiler, he appeared to be well-off. He could splurge thousands in high stake chess games. Dressed properly and in fashionable clothes, he did not campaign for himself but was deadly as a loose canon. You can say he was gainfully employed.
Last week Chito showed up in one of his visits to Max’s breakfast group. He was using a wooden crutch, in shabby outfit, with unkempt hair, and looked an old man without his teeth.
It seems he has fallen into hard times lately. Someone asked him if he was not receiving a modest subsidy for past services from his former handlers at the Lazatin camp. I heard his answer in the negative. Suspect Sibak’s handler Irish C, the brilliant strategist responded with a guffaw when I asked her once about Chito’s real sponsors.
“Mengapaburen yata,” remarked Tony Brown, Bacani’s fan at the chess club in San Nicolas. “Mekalingwan ne,” another equipped. “Kasi eya kandidatu ngeni.”
Brown, like other Angeleños, are fascinated by the life and times of an important political figure like Chito who holds the record as the only Kapampangan aspirant for the Philippine presidency. Only he was declared a nuisance candidate without due process. Interviewed on national TV he presented a program for national development, one of which was to convert the peso into dollar as our currency. “Ganito lang lalakas and ekonomiya natin,” he astounded Comelec officials.
Sibak’s outstanding contribution to the victories of Lazatin was the tactical role he played as a pro-Tarzan candidate. Against Gepoy Nepo, the loose ball exploded to mock the young aspirant. Ares Yabut called Sibak an “attack dog of the Cong.” Lazatin demolished his opponents through Bacani who did the work for him.
During the thanksgiving dinner of City Mayor Ed Pamintuan last Thursday, his media friends and the SPC toasted him for winning an enviable and rare honor in the World’s Ten Best Mayors Awards, I asked the Mayor and his First lady if they would be kind enough to look into Chito’s impoverished and sickly condition; can she help him through the city’s vaunted health care program?
The kindly Miniang who has converted the family residence to a first aid station gladly offered any assistance including free check up, X-Ray and medicines, and the provision of dentures for our toothless friend.
While I do not admire Chito as an “attack dog” I am impressed by his fierce pride. For instance he would not take anything except coffee in our breakfast meet. “I am a man of principles,” he proudly said. “The reason I did not run for Congress this election is because my chief program is to abolish Congress. If I run that is against my principle.”
Asked why he was not campaigning for Mang Tarzan, “Nandoon na si Robling (Sanchez),” he shot back. He would not go to the Jungle Base with a begging bowl.
When Chito stood up after coffee, he stood up with his wood crutch placed under his left underarm. He came in with his crutch at the right. In another visit he walked out after coffee with one slipper on, having forgotten to wear the other half.
It is true of what they say about geniuses and creative minds – they are forgetful.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 16, 2013.