Nepomuceno vs Lazatin
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)