SHUFFLE the cards. Heads up. Governor Dennis Pineda vs Candaba Mayor Danilo Baylon. The bets are on Dennis. Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin vs Amos Rivera. All bets on Lazatin. Tonton Torres vs Joe Mendoza in Guagua, pass. Porac Mayor Jing Capil vs Carling de la Cruz, bets are on Capil. Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo vs Boking Morales, bets are on Garbo.
Vilma Caluag, Rosve Henson, Jimmy Lazatin in San Fernando, bets are on Caluag. Macabebe Mayor Bobong Flores vs Annette Flores Balgan, bets are on Bobong. Sto. Tomas Mayor Gloria “Ninang” Ronquillo vs John Sambo, bets are on Ninang. Magalang Mayor Romulo Pecson vs Malou Lacson, bets on hold and will depend on the river card. (FYI. In a poker game, the river card is the last card and it will determine who wins. The religious bloc votes can be regarded as the river card). There are already certain winners even before the game started. In Lubao and Apalit the incumbent mayors Esmer Pineda and Jun Tetangco are unopposed. Very uninteresting are the congressional races in the four districts. Jonjon Lazatin 1st, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo 2nd, Dong Gonzales 3rd and Anna York Bondoc Sagum 4th.
We now know the candidates and see their smiling faces now. They are mostly young people but are learned and focused. Willing to work extra hours in pursuit of efficient and effective public service. Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. is one good example of a winner. From day one in office he was lauded for his style of governance. Each day and each morning, since he is an early riser, he makes visits to barangays bringing medicines and gives some cash to the sick particularly the elderly. Then proceed to his office to meet visitors and sign papers. Similar styles like that of Pogi Lazatin are Mayors Garbo and Capil. They are young, energetic and enthusiastic in their governance. The two are meeting in the forthcoming May elections for former mayors. The two will now be measured the way they handled and still manage their responsibilities and responses to the pandemic. Both scored high in grades, and with flying colors too.
In the City of San Fernando, it is projected that it will go down the wire between Caluag and Henson. Jimmy Lazatin already reached the pinnacle of his political career. His threshold is being a vice mayor. Besides, as the political partner of incumbent Mayor Edwin Santiago is not much for him since the latter’s performance in his three terms is viewed as dismal by many observers compared to what former Mayor Oscar Rodriguez accomplished. Caluag is the candidate to beat mainly not only because she has the resources but based on the votes she garnered in the 2019 elections against Santiago she must be popular with the electorates. Now in a three cornered fight, the bets should be on her.
The one political contest that will be interesting to watch will be the tiff between Pecson and Lacson. Face off once again. It can be recalled that in the 2019 mayoral run of the two, Pecson was declared winner with just 27 votes against Lacson. The result now will be determined by the river card.