It isnt difficult to predict who and what events will be unfolding in October this year , and furthermore what to expect months before the 2025 local elections. The barangay officials are suppose to be apolitical, but now they are no different from regular politicians. At this early, streamers of certain candidates are already on display on strategic areas complete with election promises despite the fact ballot time is still in late October. Some are already spending millions. Wow

At this early there are already positionings among those who wanted to be in the local elections. Heard from the grapevine. Senior Deputy Speaker Dong Gonzales will give incumbent San Fernando Mayor Vilma Caluag a run for her money when the latter will run for re-election. Former Mayor Edwin Santiago is reportedly mending some political fences. Rosve Henson may also join the fray. Gonzales who is suspected to be establishing his political dynasty will field his daughter Board Member Mica in a congressional race in the third district. Mica will face the well entrenched Mexico Mayor Teddy Tumang. His son Brenz who topped the council elections maybe fielded as his running mate.

In Angeles City the Lazatin brothers may be again in the hustings with Mayor Pogi running for a congressional seat and Congressman Jonjon relieving Pogi. In Porac my best bet incumbent Mayor Jing Capil will run by his lonesome. ( The Lapids are not fielding anyone and are patiently waiting for Capil to finish his term).In Mabalacat City a question of law is if incumbent Mayor Cris Garbo can still eligible for another term and may have reached the mandated three term limit. However his reason is that in his first term he only served for two years. Today’s politics is no different from yesterday’s.

RETRO: The following names will not ring a bell. Higinio Gopez of Porac, German Galang of Sta. Rita, Jesus Santos of Mexico, Anastacio Gallardo of Candaba, Monica Mercado of Sasmuan, Salvador Limson of Lubao, Manuel Abad Santos of Angeles, Jose Quiwa of San Fernando and many other more who help shaped the history of their respective towns as mayors.

Let’s make a searching look backward and recall on events starting in the fifties when Rafael L. Lazatin defeated incumbent Governor Jose B. Lingad in the gubernatorial race. Peace was the theme Lazatin bannered in his campaign for the province which was at the time violence was the rule of the day. The best known and by far the most engaging political rivalry in Pampanga was between Francisco G. Nepomuceno and Lazatin aka Apung Feleng. While Lazatin was the no-sense type Nepomuceno was the non-serious character and easy going who loved to crack jokes even in his political meetings. He was a former councilor during the time when Manuel Abad Santos was mayor of Angeles town in the early fifties. He served as provincial board member, one term congressman and three term as governor of the province.

Lazatin was with the Nacionalista Party when he defeated the incumbent Governor Lingad of Lubao in the 1951 elections. Lazatin seems unbeatable when the Liberal Party drafted Nepomuceno to wrest the governorship from Him. There were more political fights between the two, but Nepomuceno always emerged the winner. It would take years before Lazatin was able to recover and recapture his lost political glory due to his successive defeats from Cong Quitong. And the only time they shared the stage together in a political meeting was when Apung Feleng and Cong Quitong's wife Juanita aka Imang Saning run for the Interim Batasang Pambansa elections in 1984. And Lazatin and Nepomuceno faced each for the last time in 1988 in a mayoral elections and both were trounced by an upstart, Antonio Abad Santos.

It was in in the 1971 mayoral elections in Angeles when Apung Feleng was able to vindicate his name. The local elections of 1971 was one event which will be long remembered. Lazatin was pitted against incumbent Mayor Eugenio N. Suarez and former Mayor Rafael S. Del Rosario. Just the year before, Huk chieftain Faustino Del Mundo alias Commander Sumulong was captured by the Philippine Constabulary troopers in a subdivision in Angeles City.

Angeles which has been tagged by the constabulary authorities as the nerve center of the Huk movement had long wanted peace. That the city was Huk-controlled and an 'invisible' government' manipulated elections. The influence of Commander Sumulong was strongly felt. Suarez, scion of the wealthy and landed Henson gentry was allegedly elected in the 1967 through the help of the HMB.

Meanwhile, the third candidate, Rafael Del Rosario dubbed as the last town mayor and the first city mayor of Angeles was of socialist parentage. He was the son of Agapito Del Rosario, the town mayor in 1941 and socialist amazon Felicidad Sicangco. In his time, after defeating his uncle Manuel Abad Santos in a hotly contested elections in the late fifties he enjoyed an unprecedented support from every sector. He was responsible for the initial growth of Angeles which under his watch, the town was metamorphosing into a metropolitan center. But in the 1971 mayoral elections his popularity greatly diminished. He lost and his political career was ended.