ANGELES City Mayor-elect Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin will be sworn in on July 1.
Legally he can already be inducted at noontime on the last day of this month, but his preference is to hold it on the first day of July. His transition team was formed a few days after he was elected and his opponents handed their congratulations.
He has been very active lately. One of his latest actions was meeting newsmen who are mostly his personal friends. Last Friday, June 7, he met members of Campampangan in Media Inc., an organization of practicing media persons from Manila and Pampanga. Earlier, he had a fellowship with members of the Pampanga Press Club.
The banner headline mostly of local newspapers the next day was his disclosure of stopping the construction of the new city hall building and the sports complex in Barangay Pampang.
The P1.2-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines will instead be utilized for the upgrade of the hospital to a second level medical center, and the expansion of the City College of Angeles.
There’s more than meets the eye on the two controversial constructions of both the city hall and the sports complex. It might be recalled that it was then mayoral candidate Alex Cauguiran who made public the construction of the two edifices and warned the Pamintuan administration of getting the city into a debt trap by over-borrowing. It was also said that irregularities attended the bidding. He wrote the Commission on Audit regarding the bidding but apparently the latter failed to flag it.
It seems now that the latest pronouncement of Mayor Pogi Lazatin is meeting a great approval among the constituency. Of course, particularly the poor prefer an upgrade of the hospital and expansion of the city college more than a sports complex. Again it will be recalled that when then Ed Pamintuan assumed the mayorship he immediately cancelled the plan to use the borrowed money by then Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno for a sports complex in Barangay Mining.
In the same meeting, Lazatin disclosed some of the members of his team when he assumes office next month. Changes will be effected. Lawyer Willie Rivera will be administrator, replacing lawyer Noy Pamintuan. Rivera is one of the well-known litigation lawyers in Pampanga. He once served as a member of the City Council. He has been in the practice of law for many years. Veteran newsman Arnel San Pedro will be City Information Officer and lawyer Kercee P. Lazatin will be chief of staff. The lady lawyer is an Ateneo De Manila graduate. Most of co-terminus employees will be replaced, if not all.
Lazatin said he will focus more on strengthening social services. The traffic problem in the city will also be confronted. There was no announcement yet on who will head the traffic division and who will be hospital administrator. I think he already has in mind his choices but withholds them in the meantime for good reason. In combatting the drug problem, he will most likely succeed because Irish “IC” Calaguas, presently Deputy Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, is a close family friend. IC was formerly chief of staff of Mayor Pogi’s father, the late Congressman/Mayor Tarzan Lazatin.