RACEHORSES. Thoroughbreds at that.

Last time I wrote about Edu Pamintuan and Pinggoy Lopez – both Angeles City councilorables – I compared them (and other winnable candidates) to horses who could gallop to victory.

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And I am sticking to that. Just like true racehorses who have just been let off the gates, both Edu and Pinggoy are running fast onward to seal their respective places in the race for 10 seats in the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).

I am not surprised at all that Edgardo “Edu” Pamintuan Jr. -- the son, the namesake, the junior of comebacking Edpam for the mayoral post -- has gained early lead over his other opponents. He is always in the magic 10 in surveys conducted by opposing camps and even by a private one commissioned by a noted Angeles City businessman.

Edu was well reared by his Dad Edpam and Mom Miniang. He grew up exposed in public service, witnessing his Mayor-Dad deliver much-needed services to the Angelenos. In fact, one of his tarpaulin billboards best describe his breeding, his early start in public service. The picture captured him -- as young as he was 11 years old -- trying to fill a sandbag in support to his Dad’s project to save Angeles City from further lahar onslaught in the early 1990s.

That shoveling did more than fill a sandbag, it filled his mind and heart with the issues affecting the Angelenos now that he is about to turn 30 years old.

That tender age that taught him already to serve.

But that recorded life-saving cause and act may not be enough to ensure a win. This is why other people tend to look at the competencies of Edu (No. 23 as Pamintuan, Edgardo, JR. in the ballot listing).

Edu was trained in the very nature that is required of a councilor: Legislative Work.

Edu has had the experience as a supervising legislative researcher and political affairs officer. He has worked for Albay Governor Joey Salceda when he was still a member of the House of Representatives.

Having to work for Salceda-a PGMA trusted economic adviser and one of the country's luminaries in economics - Edu has very good insights and outlook on how Angeles City's economy ought to be.

Edu, unknown to many, also worked for Reghis Romero - one of the country's foremost developers -- and at Philippine Reclamation Authority. These two former jobs should be enough reason for him to have good grasp on planning and other disciplines that require technical competencies.

*****

Let’s talk about another good breed in Pinggoy Lopez. He is listed number Number 17 in the ballots as LOPEZ, ANGELO JUSTIN INIGO III.

Pinggoy has his public service roots being the son of former Angeles City top councilor and seasoned mediaman Angelo “Sonny” Lopez. The older Lopez, an economist by profession, is quite a fixture in the local political scene and a by-word with the help he has extended to thousands when he was in the City Council

Just like Edu, Pinggoy was exposed early in public service in his childhood days. This is perhaps why he took lawyering for a course, for a career.

If there is one qualification standard that is key in selecting a candidate for the SP, that has to be his or her background on the laws of the land. And no other candidate could best fit the bill than a lawyer like Pinggoy.

This is perhaps why Pinggoy always crop up in informal surveys I make. You see, it has been my habit to ask faceless and nameless individuals who do they think could make it in the May elections as I go around as a journalist. Pinggoy has always been picked up as a candidate to vote for.

He is well groomed – no, not the looks – but something beyond the physical. From his academic background to his scholastic achievements and even to extra-curricular activities.

He was a consistent honor student, at the same time winning distinctions such as UAAP “Most Valuable Player,” carting away a haul of medals in national and regional taekwondo tournaments.

Pinggoy would later become a member of Team “B” of the Philippine Olympic delegation, putting Angeles, “where he came from,” in the map of international martial arts competitions.

With impeccable credentials, Pinggoy fast climbed the leadership ladder, as an economist and as a lawyer. He was hired by major offices, companies and organizations.

The high-profile positions he handled included:Chief of Staff (chief political affairs officer). Office of Hon. Roilo Golez, House of Representatives; Consultant on Economic Affairs, City of Angeles; Chairman, Aksyon Kaataan Youth Movement, Region III (youth arm of the late Education Secretary and Senator Raul S. Roco); Director, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP, Pampanga Chapter); Director, Holy Family Academy Alumni Association; Legal Counsel, Angeles City Water District; and, Legal Consultant to a number of business and communications offices.

He provides free legal services to impoverished litigants, sharing his views through treatises and opinion pieces carried by local publications. One of his pet projects is strengthening barangay justice system.

“Angelo for Angeleños,” has become the keynote of his personal philosophy as he ventures into public life -- hopefully as a councilor of the city he adores.

Edu and Pinggoy. Thoroughbreds.

Upbringing, training, competencies. Need I say more?

The Tollways Management Corporation (TMC) is all set to serve the upsurge in the number of motorists that will ply the NLEX and SCTEX for the Holy Week break.

TMC corporate ommunications chief Benigno Valles said that their company will be depolying more round-the-clock patrol vehicles and motorcycles as well as put in place traffic management teams, towing services, ambulant tellers, variable message signs and emergency response groups in critical areas of the two tollways.

TMC's emergency and hotline numbers are: (02) 580-8911 and NLEX hotline: (02) 35000.