Lone District, Now!

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By Noel G. Tulabut

My Palm Notes

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


ALMOST everyone is in its favor.

To separate Angeles City from Mabalacat City and Magalang town seems to be snowballing. It should as it is the right move.

This move, initiated by the Angeles City Council, is slowly gaining ground as no less than Mayors Edgardo Pamintuan, Marino “Boking” Morales and Romy Pecson are all for it.

Mayor Edpam even went Mao Zedong-ist with his own remarks “let a thousand flowers bloom.” (Mao’s was “hundreds” when Chinese intelligentsia were invited to criticize the political system that was obtaining in the late 1950s).

I could not agree any better with what Mayor Edpam said “I really do not have any objection to the proposal of the City Council. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Angeles City or the First District does not belong to the Pamintuans, Lazatins or Nepomucenos alone. Let others with aspirations rise."

"These people may not have names yet in the political arena but they are similarly committed and dedicated. Making Angeles City a lone congressional district will certainly open up opportunities for them and give them a chance," he said.

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So let it be then.

This move will bring about benefits not only in Angeles City but in adjoining areas of Pampanga’s First District. Especially for the wannabes and even the has beens.

One must note that there has not been any non-Angeleno contender in recent memory who has won the post, except for now Congressman Yeng Guiao.

Guiao’s victory over former Rep. Francis Nepomuceno in 2013, of course, was not without the unprecedented solid backing of a lot of groups including the Pinedas. No less than Governor Baby Pineda herself personally campaigned for the former vice governor from Magalang town.

Those who previously attempted to wrest the post included the late Mabalacat Mayor Catalino Domingo in 1995 who was unlucky despite sterling performance as a long-time councilor and a chief executive of the former town.

Prior to Guiao’s ascent, the first district was dominated by Lazatins and the Nepomucenos. I am not saying that was wrong as they did make some contributions too.

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So, there is no truth to rumors that this move is being initiated to create an opportunity for Senator Lito Lapid to have fallback when his three terms end in 2016, much more avoid a face-off with Mayor Edpam in his second and last re-election bid.

Even if these two do contest the mayoral post two years from now, I believe that Mayor Edpam enjoys a great advantage, owing to what he has accomplished for Angeles City.

While there is no doubt about the maka-masa appeal of Senator Lapid with his remarkable wins in the Senate, Mayor Edpam has chalked up very significant achievements in the city.

Foremost of which is the Renal Care Center at ONA where hundreds benefit and another hundreds more from even outside Angeles City try to fall in line just to get an almost free dialysis treatment.

Mayor Edpam has also faced and solved numerous problems and ills of the city that include waste management, traffic, peace and order.

I need not cite numbers here to support that observation but to think that he has joined the ranks of an elite company of local chief executives all over the globe would be enough. His inclusion as among the top 10 of World City Mayors prize more than capture what he has done for Angeles City.

Who in Angeles City was able to do that? Who in Angeles City could top that?

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If it were a game of basketball, the sphere (or lone district) is now being handled by Cong. Yeng’s own team mates.

The moves by the Angeles City Council and the support already expressed by local chief executives is seen as setting the play and passing the ball with some players’ spacing in between to make that perfect shot.

That shot could come from Cong. Yeng himself who has to shoot that ball through the hoop. He could receive the ball anytime soon for him to file or refile the bill at the House of Representatives.

Will he really go for the winning shot by pushing hard to the basket and drive to victory or will he choose to dribble the ball some more. His call for observance of a “process” to make lone district a reality, although ideal, may take (him some) time.

Again, if this were a basketball game, the 24-second shot clock may soon expire with the ball in his hands.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 07, 2014.

Opinion

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