Monday, November 29, 2021

Sangil: The coming elections in Angeles City

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DESPITE my personal belief that mayoral candidate Amos Rivera and his council slate are waging an uphill political battle against the well-entrenched incumbent Mayor Pogi Lazatin and his ticket, I still wish them the best of luck. Sa totoo lang, if the mayoral race is a basketball game, it is as if Rivera and team are the TNT Tropang Giga and matched against the Milwaukee Bucks. But even in the Bucks team, there will be at least three who can be the bench warmer, and maybe four including the one who dropped the ball and committed a deliberate foul by mouthing lines never heard before in Angeles politics. Candidates Alex Caugiran, Edu Pamintuan, Alex Indiongco, Alma Dizon Mercado and Chris Cortez are waiting on the line.

Earlier, I said there are always combinations in life and inhuman pursuit. In politics, it is a combination of many. You have to have money, and it is the most basic. Better if you have so much of it. A name recall, like your grandfather or father, was once upon a time public servants, popular in other ways like being in movies, radio or television. In a big city like Angeles where there are more or less two hundred thousand registered voters and still counting. there is likely a big race among those who wanted to land in the first ten spots in the council race.

Surely to be missed in this 2022 elections will be former Vice Mayor Bryan Mathew Nepomuceno. It will be recalled that his political career started as a member of the city council, then became a vice mayor. He was the standard-bearer in the last elections of ABEKA, a local political party, and was pitted against Pogi Lazatin and former Clark International Airport Corporation President Alex Caugiran. Lazatin won convincingly in that three-cornered fight and most likely will be re-elected for a second term.

One combination that clicked in the 2013 elections was the PAMI group. It was composed then of Edu Pamintuan, Jericho Genaskey Aguas, husband of incumbent Councilor JC Parker, Maricel Morales, the pretty actress, and Alex Indiongco. The acronym was taken from the first letter of their family names. It proved to be effective. They all won in 2013 and got big chunks of votes. Morales was temporarily out in 2016 elections. There’s a clamor for her to stage a comeback in the forthcoming 2022 elections, but it seems she wants to devote more time to her business and showbiz career.

Due to the pandemic, the Commission on Elections may prohibit stage meetings and house-to-house campaigning. Time to maximize technology, and Facebook Twitter, Instagram and Viber are the alternatives. Television and commentary programs on prime time radio are still very useful in reaching the grassroots, but they cost money.


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