Pineda vs. Caluag in San Fernando

Pineda vs. Caluag in San Fernando

The political “marites” (slang for gossips) have become lively in the capital city of San Fernando in Pampanga since last week following the transfer of voter’s registration of businessman Rodolfo 'Bong' Pineda, his daughter, resigned board member Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, and son-in-law Archen.

The move has stirred the hornet’s nest and raised further speculations of the impending battle royale between the Pinedas and the incumbent city mayor Vilma Caluag.

Prior to this most recent event, it was rumored that the incumbent Vice Governor of Pampanga, Nanay Lilia Pineda, will be running for the mayorship of the capital.

The Pinedas have reportedly transferred residency in one of the subdivisions of barangay Dolores, the home barangay of the Caluags. The vice governor, though, was nowhere in sight during last week’s transfer of voter’s registration of her family members. Does this mean she is not interested in descending from her Capitol post? Well, for all intents and purposes, the transfer of Mylyn Cayabyab to San Fernando and effectively resigning from her position as board member of the Second District of Pampanga with still about one year to her term, is a strong signal of a

probable city hall run.

The timing of the transfer, effectively complying with the one-year residency requirement for prospective election candidates, is another clue to this puzzle.

At any rate, there is no love lost between the two families since the Pinedas have consistently supported the political bids of individuals who ran against the Caluags in various elections, the last of which was the barangay election when the Pineda-backed Allan Patio defeated no less than Melchor Caluag, the mayor’s husband, in the barangay chairmanship derby.

As if it were a well-planned war strategy, the Pinedas crept slowly into Caluag’s turf, preparing for the grandest fight, thus far, in the series.

Mylyn is the Pineda’s next best bet for the mayorship if Nanay will not throw her hat into the city hall race. She is, at her young age, a seasoned leader, having been a three-term mayor of their hometown Lubao. In the Provincial board, Mylyn has been a busy figure running from town to town delivering the services of the provincial government and the Pineda family to as many Kapampangan as possible. Soft-spoken and kind, many say Mylyn is the 'Nanay Junior' whose motherly charisma is coupled with youthful energy and political savvy.

If ever Mylyn decides to contest the top city hall spot from Mayor Vilma, she will be the opponent who could give the incumbent a run for her money, figuratively and literally speaking.

Though they have not openly admitted the mayoral candidacy in their camp, the Pinedas’ body language seems to be pointing in that direction. Alas, even the patriarch’s statement when interviewed during the Comelec registration is only a name short of confirming their upcoming fight against Mayor Vilma.

“Alam mo, gusto ko talagang bumoto rito para mapasunod ko rin ‘yung ibang gusto kong mangyari dito, di ba? Kasi dito sa pangkasalukuyan, eh ‘yung mga ibang bumoto dito sa administrasyon na ‘to, parang hindi tumama.”

One needs not read between these lines to believe that Mr. Pineda is seriously considering wresting the mayorship from Caluag’s hands. By just merely speaking to the media about it when he is usually timid in talking before journalists, Mr. Pineda all but laid his cards on the table except for one that bears the name of his bet to be the capital city’s next chief executive.

As for the Caluags, what could be their response to this recent development? Only on her first term, will the mayor opt to reelect against a Pineda as opponent?

Historically, Caluag is the first-ever lady mayor of San Fernando. If and when Mylyn decides to initiate a one-on-one, woman-to-woman contest, we are up for another historic moment.

Things are definitely heating up and, no, it’s not because of the summer.


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