A WEEK before the actual election day, several former village officials of the City of San Fernando gathered on Monday, May 6 to pledge their support for Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin.
At least 12 former village chiefs, as well as seven former councilmen (kagawad), publicly declared their support to the re-election bid of Lazatin during a press conference held at the Bale Capampangan here.
Former barangay Quebiawan kagawad Aris David said the group decided to finally stand up to disprove claims made by fellow ex-village officials recently, which “are aimed at discrediting Lazatin and his track record.”
Recently, 10 former village chiefs from this capital city allegedly shifted their support to vice-mayoralty bet Councilor Angie Hizon, claiming that Lazatin did nothing and failed to deliver services to the people during his incumbency.
“Panahon ng pulitika ngayon at alam naman natin kapag ganito, sisirain at sisirain ka ng iyong katunggali. Kahit meron ka ng nakikita, sasabihin mo wala. So, ganoon din po kami nagkaisa at nagsama-sama ngayon para naman ipakita na ang vice mayor namin may nagawa. ‘Wag po tayong magbulag-bulagan at sabihin na sa loob ng kanyang termino, wala siyang nagawa. Eh nandyan naman po ang katibayan at katunayan,” David said.
Former Barangay Del Carmen chairman Arsen Feliciano also disproved claims that Lazatin failed to perform his duties as incumbent vice mayor to develop the city and deliver public service to Fernandinos.
He particularly noted several projects spearheaded by Lazatin and his family, including construction of a road in Barangay Lourdes, the financial and moral support given to Barangay Telabastagan that led to its back-to-back championship in the Giant Lantern Festival, the establishment of material recovery facilities, and the scholarship grants and other financial assistance given by the incumbent vice mayor that aided Fernandino families.
“E pu tutu ing sasabyan da. Anya pu deng pamilyang Lazatin e mi a apaburen ikaming ex-kapitan ampong ex-kagawad uling saludu kami karela (What they’re saying is not true. That is why we cannot just abandon the Lazatin family because we salute them),” Feliciano said.
Former Barangay Del Rosario chairman Reggie Del Rosario, meanwhile, said he has known the Lazatins long before he became active and eventually joined politics because of his dedication to develop the education sector.
He recalled how Lazatin immediately came to the rescue during times of calamities, especially when a bridge in their village was destroyed by flood and affected their community.
“During times of calamities, naramdaman ko po sa kanya (Lazatin) parang pangalawang tatay ng siyudad San Fernando. Malaking bagay po sa amin iyon na kahit sa panahon ng sakuna at kalamidad, nare-relieve po ang aming pakiramdam,” he said.
He noted the several ordinances passed under Lazatin’s leadership in the city council which include plastic ban, free cinema viewing, and resort entry for senior citizens, among others.
“Kaya nung narinig ko po na sinasabi na walang ginawa si Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, kahit busy ako sa aking business at ayaw ko na sanag pumagitna sa pulitika, binigyan ko ito ng magandang oras dahil napaka-unfair naman na sabihin ang mga ganoong bagay na hindi naman totoo,” he said.
Former three-term San Isidro barangay captain Nestor Lingat, for his part, attested to how Lazatin was helpful and easy to deal with, even when he was still a councilor.
He credited Lazatin for the establishment of a public high school in Barangay San Isidro that is still being utilized by students up to now.
“Inantabayanan na ku pu ketang pamanalakad ning high school keng San Isidro. Panaun na pung Mayor Oca (Rodriguez), pero iya pu ing minantabe kaku. Anggang ngeni pu, alus retang siyam a kwartu karin, dinalan la ngan pu king keka tamung vice mayor (Lazatin guided me in establishing our public high school in Barangay San Isidro. It was under the leadership of then Mayor Oca Rodriguez but Lazatin was already assisting me. Up to now, Lazatin is helpful in constructing almost all the new nine classrooms there),” he said.
Aside from the three village chiefs, former barangay chairmen Rene Pineda of Juliana, Armando Bustamante of San Isidro, Juliet Narciso of Bulaon, Leonardo Mallari of Calulut, Ramon Lingat of Baliti, Loreto Tumang of San Jose, Ogie Guinto of Sta. Teresita, Armando Pabalan of Del Pilar and Len Pamintuan of Quebiawan also pledged their support to Lazatin.
Likewise, former kagawads Len Gozun of Barangay Quebiawan, Dela Paz Norte’s Jimmy Escoto, Baliti’s Ruben De Jesus, Sta. Teresita’s Enrique Pineda, Juliana’s Arnold Silvestre and Jose Paras, San Jose’s Alejandro Guinto, Del Carmen’s Donic Reyes and Del Rosario’s Imelda Casindac also said they support Lazatin’s re-election bid.