Monday, June 21, 2021

Sangil: Angeles mayoral races (last part)

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I CONSIDER 1995 as my banner year. It was in this elections when Edgardo D. Pamintuan won by a landslide together with Francis Blueboy Nepomuceno as running mate. His 10 candidates in the council slate won nine seats. I placed number one. The young Jonjon Lazatin took the last spot. Out of the 10 elected and be member of the City Council, nine emerged victorious. We almost swept the polls.

But in the 1998 elections, it became an entirely different story. There was an unexpected turn of events. Mayor Ed Pamintuan and Vice Mayor Blueboy suddenly showed no interest in the mayorship and both filed their certificates of candidacy as congressional candidates. The two went to grueling hustings and slugged it out fiercely. (Blueboy won the race). Our group was left holding an empty bag, so to speak, without a standard bearer. That was the situation.

I remember it was September and my birthday I will celebrate in few days. I treated to lunch the eight colleagues at the Mekeni restaurant of Holiday Inn in Clark. It was brought up as post prandial discussions the forthcoming elections. We assessed the situation. Whoever will be anointed will face Congressman Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin. The name Tarzan swinging from the House of Representatives to the Angeles City hall will give any wannabe goosebumps. It was decided then that we invite either businessman Renato “Abong” Tayag or his uncle former Concon Delegate Jose “Senseng” Suarez to be our standard bearer. I spoke twice to Suarez in his office in a local bank in downtown Angeles tried convincing him to run. Twice I was rejected and he reasoned his age and failing eyesight. Abong Tayag also begged off.

Another lunch-meeting was set by the group and time was ticking because the elections were getting nearer. At first the late Councilor Romy Taruc volunteered to be mayoral candidate, but the late Councilor Aster Angeles persuaded him to rethink his position. He further explained that I was the most senior among them, and that I will become mayor once Blueboy and Edpam resigned. Btw. The law at that time was when you are running for another position, you have to resign. Since both Edpam and Blueboy were running for congress they resigned. Eventually, by operation of law I became the mayor. Not as an officer-in-charge nor acting mayor. It was a difficult decision on my part to oppose a well entrenched and moneyed candidate in Tarzan Lazatin whose treasure chest is as huge as the Holy Rosary church. Expectedly I lost. No regrets.

Present day. Many sectors are convincing Edpam to face Pogi Lazatin who made a good accounting of himself as mayor despite you may say he still long miles away in filling the shoes of his late grandfather and father. According to him, he is far from perfect but he wanted to leave also a footprint which is Tatak Lazatin. I can sense that he is ready to face anyone who will be in the mayoral race, even if it is Ed Pamintuan. Surprises can be expected in October.


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