PAMPANGA

Sangil: Citizen Edpam

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HE IS now citizen Eddie (take a bow). After completing three terms as the chief executive of Angeles City, he will now have more time with his lovely apos and listen from his old jukebox the sounds of the 60s and 70s.

Edgardo D. Pamintuan's life is one for the books. He is now a septuagenarian. He has had a checkered and colorful life. He rode the tiger in early life and rode later chauffeured air condition SUVs.

Flashback. It was in the late 80s. The late Antonio Abad Santos was mayor of the city. A self-styled group calling itself AngeleƱos Crusade for Good Government accused Abad Santos of exercising patronage and influence to gain more wealth and power. He was also accused of accepting bribes from infrastructure projects. These were denied by Abad Santos but people believed otherwise.

A recall protest was filed against him, but didn't prosper. Another move to oust him was filed by his opponents before the Ombudsman and he was slapped a 90-day preventive suspension. And this gave his vice mayor, the young lawyer Pamintuan, the chance to be noticed by the AngeleƱos.

As acting mayor, Pamintuan performed with a creditable style. He knew what people wanted and he gave it. He made the correct moves and he got the attention. The suspension of Abad Santos started his downfall while Pamintuan, serving in acting capacity, started his ascent to the mayorship. So in the succeeding elections of 1992, the people elected him as their mayor.

After getting elected in 1992 besting six other mayorables, he again won convincingly versus the well-respected businessman Renato "Abong" Tayag of the Tayag-Dayrit-Henson-Suarez clan in the 1995 local elections. In his score card, he has one loss after he was trashed by Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno in the congressional race of 1998. He was in his garden leave when his friend Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed the presidency. He was drafted to some positions in the Arroyo government. And when he staged a comeback against Blueboy in 2010, he got his revenge against the latter. Blueboy went down in defeat and was forced to hang his political gloves. (Blueboy went on to finish three terms in the House of Representatives but lost on a comeback try against basketball coach Yeng Guiao. However, Guiao only served one term and was defeated by JonJon Lazatin. There was a showdown between the two in the recent elections but Guiao was trounced.)

Getting back to Pamintuan's life story, he faced the late Carmelo "Tarzan" Lazatin in the 2013 elections. I was running under the banner of Lazatin and all the surveys indicated victory and we were already celebrating at the Jungle Base, the name of our campaign headquarters. I was even called by Pareng Tarzan to have my fill of SML at Casablanca Casino in Clark. He was happy and was in his elements. A few days before balloting, each one in the Lazatin camp was confident of victory, but when the last vote was counted, Pamintuan emerged victorious.

There were two missteps though that Pamintuan committed. One is borrowing a huge sum of money to construct, among others, a sports complex when he applied the brake pedal on the construction of one in Barangay Mining which was initiated then by Blueboy Nepomuceno. (Mayor Pogi Lazatin said the borrowed money will be spent instead for the upgrade of the hospital and the Angeles City College). And second, he broke his own promise to retire from active politics. He can't lie here because he told a large gathering in Barangay Pulung Bulo in a political campaign in 2016 that "Max, you and me are old already and after this, we should retire, okay?"

But hubris enveloped him and campaigned for a congressional seat via the party list system, but failed miserably in the polls. Anyway, summing up his score in life, he can still be considered a winner.


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