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Sangil: The possible winners in the AC council race

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The big news last week was the senate and the House of Representatives ratified the “pork ridden 2019 executive budget”. Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo described it as the “most closely scrutinized budget in over three decades”. But the bicameral conference committee which is sometimes called the “third congress” rushed the approval with the insertion of pork money which is the greatest source of corruption in our country for many decades now. Really the incorrigible thieves in government will remain in power for the next many decades. That’s sad for this generation and the next.

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The controversy over the P1.2 billion borrowing by the Angeles City government is escalating as Councilor Jae Flores who is a member of the majority group in the council disclosed in an interview with John Susi in a local TV show that he didn’t vote in the ratification of the measure because certain projects were already bidded out and awarded not following legal processes as called for by the procurement law. For one, the awarding of the projects came ahead and the required publication came later, according to Flores. I think Vice Mayor Bryan Nepomuceno should be afforded a chance to explain his side of the controversy, him being the leader of the city council.

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With the Flores disclosures, it is not farfetched that the Commission on Audit will not allow payment to the contractors who were awarded the projects, the government auditors themselves may be facing legal liability. And the next question is if payments were already made, what happened then? Will it reach the Ombudsman? Search me, I don’t know.

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On a national network news, recently our cabalen Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde tagged Angeles City as the number 3 among the five cities where the illegal drug business thrives. Albayalde who is a native of the City of San Fernando but whose family operates a water refilling business and maintains residence in Angeles City must do something to rid Angeles City of this menace. So President Duterte was correct all the while in saying that Angeles City is one of the “shabulized” cities in our country. In fairness to Mayor Ed Pamintuan, he has been consistent in fighting also the drug menace just like President Duterte, but both just can lick it.

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Before you know it is already election day. The election season started rather early, for all the declared candidates have been in the hustings since October last year. Under Commission on Elections rules those running for national posts are given 90 days to campaign while the local bets are allowed 45 days. And it’s funny, and sometimes downright ridiculous when they publish surveys saying they are ahead. Be discerning. But for some they are taking it hook, line and sinker.

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What I know, in Angeles City, Bryan Nepomuceno is still ahead in the mayoral race and coming second is Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin and followed closely by former Clark International Airport Corporation President Alexander Caugiran. Among the three the fastest gainer is Caugiran who jumped from a measly 8.0 percent and now 27 percent. Lazatin is static at 31 percent. Whereas Nepomuceno who late last year was more than 50 percent cascaded to 39 percent. You may be asking which pollster conducted the survey. None like the SWS or Pulse Asia but it’s an independent group commissioned by a sportsman-businessman.

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If elections are held today, the council bets who may likely be in the winning circle are Alfie Bonifacio, Pogs Suller, Among Sonny Pahed, PG Ponce, Jay Sangil, Tony Mamac, Dan Lacson, Amos Rivera and Jae Flores. Pushing themselves into the first 10 winners are Edward Laki, Jay Pelayo and Thelma Indiongco. There will be major changes here based on the backing of the powerful INC votes.


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