Who wants to be a congressman?

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By Max Sangil

For the Record

Sunday, January 12, 2014


ONE of the first few pronouncements of City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago was "Fernandino First," a few weeks after his inauguration. It was meant to impress the Fernandinos. All jobs and benefits of social services are exclusively for the residents only. That is the message.

May we humbly suggest to the mayor that he gets good advisers? An exclusion of non-Fernandinos, who do business in the capitol town, may be offended. I can presume that most business owners in San Fernando are not residents of the city.

--oo0oo--

Now my friend Mayor Edsa sounds like a governor. He is "looking at interconnecting Sto. Tomas, Bacolor, Mexico, Angeles and other local government units to make Pampanga an inclusive growth center." Some newsmen are shaking their heads.

--oo0oo--

Another mayor friend, Mabalacat City Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales, is dreaming big. He would want his city to be the Makati of the north. He he. Maybe in 50 years, there will be one or two 10-storey buildings. It is all right to dream. Dreaming is strictly non-revenue, as they say. When he was town mayor he kept dreaming that Mabalacat will become a city, and it was realized. But there times also that we should be practical, and to know what is realizable.

--oo0oo--

Former Angeles City councilor Irineo "Bong" Alvaro Jr. is now in the money. In his garage are latest models of BMWs. He is now a partner of BB International, a Taiwan company engaged in hotel and casino business. Their latest project, Hotel Midori in the Clark Freeport, may be operational by last quarter of this year. In the meanwhile, some political leaders of Bong Alvaro are urging his return to public service. There are talks that he is eyeing the congressional seat. He is a good material. He has a doctorate degree and is an experienced local legislator.

--oo0oo--

Will the move to make Angeles City a lone congressional district be realized before the elections of 2016? It is doubtful.

If you ask the local politicians in the area, they would want to see the day when Angeles is separated from Magalang and Mabalacat as a separate congressional district.

Ask incumbent Congressman Yeng Guiao if he agrees with the separation. I can see an immediate nodding of his bright and shining head. There are so many who want to engage Yeng Guiao in the 2016 race. There is Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega Cabigting who will complete her three-term tenure by 2016.

I can also see in the future, Boking Morales, Cris Garbo, Cherry Manalo, Romy Pecson and Christian Halili making a run for Congress.

--oo0oo--

Senator Lito Lapid will bid goodbye to the Senate in the same year, and becoming a congressman is one of his options. He is also eyeing the Angeles City mayorship. Lapid has high respects for the Pinedas. Despite him coming from the town of Porac, a part of the second congressional district, he would not dare attempt to snatch the representation from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who has still one term remaining. The Pinedas will still maintain a tight grip of Pampanga politics in 2016 and beyond.

--oo0oo--

Is former congressman Carmelo "Tarzan" Lazatin really hanging up his gloves after his surprise defeat in the recent 2013 Angeles City mayoral elections? In a few instances that we met, I was trying to read between the lines his statements, and I am inclined to conclude he is not really definite in totally retiring. He still shadow boxes once in a while. Let's wait till the bell rings.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 13, 2014.

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