I CAN imagine the good Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. will now just throw few jabs at his opponent in his reelection bid. With former mayor Edgardo “Edpam” Pamintuan hanging up his political gloves when he said he is no longer running, who could be a worthy opponent? There is none.
Councilor Amos Rivera, who is said to be eyeing the mayorship, is such a good man in honoring his father by fulfilling his commitment. And that is one of the most admirable traits of a son he could show to his parents. I can only be so full of praises and respect for that. As a son myself to my late Dad, I wish I could do more to honor his name.
Mayor Pogi, who actually boxes in a gym, knows more than just the rudiments of the game. He knows when to duck, when to move in, when to cover and when to retaliate and strike back.
But I don’t think he would need to do all those in the fight for next year’s election. All he has to do is throw jabs at whim to keep the opponent in good distance and wait for the bell to ring. Dancing his way around the canvass, playful at that, makes him more enamored.
It will be boring and uninteresting fight where spectators may yawn their way out of the venue.
While EdPam did not go to Lazatin’s corner (not at all), but to be taken in a photo with Dennis Uy of Converge in a sumptuous meal with Mayor Pogi is also like an already-favored boxer getting the best endorsements for TV commercials, sponsors, live mentions in a real title match in a boxing.
And am not even talking about the biggest endorser of them all -- Gov. Dennis Pineda, who raised Mayor Pogi’s hand when he filed his certificate of candidacy. He became more than just an endorser. He became a cornerman.
Those of you who still want to view the fight just better watch something else.
Tapos na boxing.
Having namesakes can be both good and bad. I should know.
Few weeks ago, some friends had to call me to find out how am I doing. If I am well, physically. That’s because one Noel Tulabut, also from Mabalacat, died of Covid (rest in peace and may God continue to grant comfort to the family).
Months before the pandemic, he was said to be sickly. In fact, when they posted a request for help in one website offering such solicitation services, one nephew from abroad had to check on me and how is my health. I did not get the chance to meet the late namesake but I heard he also had that heart for service. That struck me with a sadness. He was a distant relative, I was told.
On a positive note, it is always good when someone like Noel Tulabut, the former councilor in the City of San Fernando, took good care not just of his physical body but also of our name. He is an engineer and contractor by profession. His political career was sterling. In both realms, I still have yet to hear something negative on his personality, character, transactions or business deals and above all, him being a politician.
His public service wasn’t that flashy but his integrity makes up for it. He is unscathed after his nine consecutive years in the City Council. The saying “you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas” did not rub at him, at all.
He completed three terms as councilor, graduating in 2019 on a high note. People must have really loved him as he was elected in the upper half bracket of 10 council seats in each election season. We are talking about Sangguniang Panlungsod of Pampanga’s premier and capital city where it is not that easy to court votes, much more win a seat in an elective post.
Now, I am not surprised if my namesake finally decides to go for another run. This time as vice-mayor in the 2022 local elections in CSFP. He is said to be the most logical, the most qualified replacement of term-ending Mayor Edwin Santiago who has decided to forego of plans to slide down to his former old post. He will pair up with Jimmy Lazatin.
In 2007, Noel Tulabut served as the running mate of Dr. Rey B. Aquino. Still then in his sophomoric development as a politician, he lost to Edwin Santiago. The rest was history.
Unlike Santiago, he was probably not yet ripe then for the vice mayoralty post. Now, or 14 years later, it is an entirely different story. Noel Tulabut has matured. If we are to follow the track of Santiago’s political career, he could be bound for the same path.
Perhaps, one of his biggest advantages is the fact that most of his service as councilor were during the time when national and local governments put high premium on unquestionable integrity, high moral values and public service beyond reproach.
While I am not exactly a big fan of the “Daang Matuwid,” it was during this period in our country’s history when politicians and public officials went further than just vowing transparency, good governance and accountability. My namesake did more than more than adhered to the mantra. He lived and personified it.
By the way, my real name is Anthony Emmanuel. I am not a politician and I thank God for my good health.