IT IS a neck-to-neck race in the Angeles City mayoralty derby. At this stage, it is still the veteran Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin by a length. In short, he is less than five percent points ahead of incumbent Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan. But it is still a long stretch till May 13. In short, it is still anybody's game.
Here are the figures that could help readers know how the race is going. There are 157,000 registered voters in this premier city. In the 2010 elections, 110,000 trooped to the polls. That year was a presidential election.
This year, it is what is called a midterm elections, meaning a local election where people might be more interested in having a hand in electing their own officials. More are expected to vote in this midterm elections since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) extended the voting hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
According to Mayor Pamintuan's camp, his recently established Partido Abe Kapampangan (PAK) was able to recruit some 40,000 members, and indeed a good number to reckon with by the Team Lazatin.
By its own estimate, even if they will lose one third of the PAK roster, it can still steamroll any opposition from Lazatin.
It might be recalled, in the 2010 elections, Pamintuan forged a political partnership with Tarzan Lazatin against then incumbent Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno. Pamintuan unseated Nepomuceno by a majority of more or less 26,000 votes, considered a landslide.
In the same election, Lazatin -- who was running for his second term in Congress -- breezed through against a neophyte opponent. He polled more or less 80,000 votes.
There are questions when we crunch on numbers. First, how many of the command votes of Lazatin were added to the 2010 victory of Pamintuan? If say 10,000 was the contribution of Lazatin, 5,000 are expected to be pulled back by him, and the remaining half will remain with Pamintuan.
Fair enough! (My numbers are not 100 percent correct but are as close as they can get.)
What about the 80,000 votes garnered by Lazatin in 2010? How many of these votes will remain with him? We will know all the answers on May 13.
There were 32,000 votes cast in favor of Blueboy Nepomuceno despite his loss in that 2010 elections. It is the hope of the Lazatin camp that a bigger number of these votes will be drawn by his team.
The dopesters, however, are one in saying that in the end, it will still be in the block votes of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) that may decide the outcome.
It is good and heartening to know that the four council bets of Team Lazatin are very much in the race, and there are good chances that all of them will chalk victory. The four are Carmelo “Real Pogi” Lazatin, Nino Enriquez, Bryan Mathew Nepomuceno and Max Sangil. They style themselves as the LENS for a brighter future.
And it is unfortunate those reportedly leading in the winning circle were dragged into a controversy involving the alleged anomalous purchases of laptop computers and cellphones. How it will affect their standings due to the controversy remains to be seen.
I am rooting for Board Member Mons Laus not because she gifted me those you-know-what. It is because she deserves to be re-eelected. Atta girl!