Ne­po­mu­ceno vs Lazatin

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION -

In the 1951 elec­tions, Pro­vin­cial Board Mem­ber Rafael L. Lazatin bested Jose B. Lin­gad of Lubao in the gu­ber­na­to­rial race. Lazatin was rid­ing high be­cause of the pop­u­lar sup­port. His stint at the Capitol was re­mark­able and the prov­ince which suf­fered eco­nomic slow­down brought about by the war was now re­cov­eri ng.

Lin­gad sup­port­ers didn’t take kindly the de­feat from the hands of Lazatin and vowed to crush the lat­ter’s po­lit­i­cal fu­ture. So time came when an­other fa­vorite son of Lubao, Vice Pres­i­dent Dios­dado P. Ma­ca­pa­gal was gear­ing him­self for the pres­i­den­tial race in 1959. The Lubao group asked then Con­gress­man Fran­cisco G. Ne­po­mu­ceno to re­sign his con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Pam­panga’s first dis­trict and wrest the gov­er­nor­ship from Lazatin.

The Ma­ca­pa­gal bat­tle­cry in his Pam­panga cam­paign was ask the votes of his ca­balen for his cho­sen can­di­dates for then ‘I will lose face be­fore po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in the coun­try if I can­not even make my own men win in my own turf’. With that line, cou­pled with the Pam­pan­gos dream to have a fa­vorite son pre­sid­ing in Mala­canang Palace, the re­ac­tion of the lo­cal crowd was enough for Ne­po­mu­ceno to re­joice. Lazatin suf­fered his first po­lit­i­cal de­feat.

It would take Lazatin some ten years or so to re­cap­ture his lost po­lit­i­cal glory. Af­ter his crush­ing de­feat from the hands of Ne­po­mu­ceno he de­cided that more than any­thing in his ca­reer, his life will not be made mis­er­able one po­lit­i­cal set­back. Again there was a mis­step by tak­ing a crack for con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the prov­ince sec­ond dis­trict in 1968, not his turf. Again he suf­fered an­other de­feat.

Like a wounded tiger he was, he re­solved to find cure for his deep po­lit­i­cal wound but most of all to vin­di­cate his good name. Pre­par­ing early for the forth­com­ing polls, Lazatin drew his bat­tle plans. Now he would get even with his tor­men­tors led by the Ne­po­mu­cenos.

In Pam­panga the lo­cal elec­tions of 1971 was the show of shows, with the back­bone of the Huk move­ment smashed by the cap­ture of its chief­tain, Faustino Del Mundo alias Com­man­der Su­mu­long in 1970.

An­ge­les which be­came a city in 1964 had long wanted a spell of peace and pros­per­ity but for the resur­gence of the out­lawed HMB de­railed the pace of eco­nomic growth and devel­op­ment in the city. Knowl­edge­able An­ge­les res­i­dents as well as op­pressed cit­i­zens from Huk con­trolled ar­eas had de­cided in their hearts what to do with the cho­sen can­di­dates of the ‘in­vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment’that ma­nip­u­lated many elected of­fi­cials and ‘ruled’many Cen­tral Lu­zon towns.

(Next: The elec­tions in An­ge­les City in the early year s)

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