An­ge­les politi­cians after the war

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION -

When the reg­u­lar Philip­pine gov­ern­ment was re­stored in 1946 fol­low­ing the dec­la­ra­tion on July 4th of the coun­try’s in­de­pen­dence, An­ge­les lead­ers started erect­ing po­lit­i­cal fences.

In the lo­cal elec­tion, a ven­er­a­ble town physi­cian, Jose Pangili­nan hum­bled the up­com­ing po­lit­i­cal star of the day, Manuel Abad San­tos, pop­u­larly known as ‘Man­ing Pitot’for he around on a sin­gle leg. The other one was lost as a re­sult of a bar­room shoot­ing brawl dur­ing his youth. He was aptly de­scribed as the only mayor ‘with one legs but with two wives’.

In the 1951 elec­tions, Pangili­nan took on a new op­po­nent. Jose Pe­layo was an­other physi­cian who en­tered pol­i­tics. He won in the 1947 vice may­oral race. He de­feated Pablo Del Rosario, Pangili­nan’s run­ning mate. Doc Pe­layo name was not only a by­word in An­ge­les but in the whole prov­ince as well. His po­lit­i­cal star was brightly shin­ing in those years. Po­lit­i­cal bro­kers saw Pe­layo as a po­ten­tial may­oral can­di­date and per­suaded him to break away from the Abad San­tos group to en­gage the lat­ter in the 1951 may­oral con­test. Pe­layo wasn’t lucky enough. Abad San­tos won.

In the late fifties an­other fig­ure sur­faced in the An­ge­les po­lit­i­cal land­scape. Rafael Del Rosario Sr.a young lawyer with a so­cial­ist back­ground. His fa­ther Agapito was also a for­mer mayor of the town in the early for­ties but died only after two years in the of­fice, the mother of Rafael was so­cial­ist ama­zon Feli­ci­dad Si­cangco.

An­ge­les never had a mayor like Del Rosario who en­joyed an un­prece­dented com­bined sup­port from the ur­ban mass, pro­fes­sion­als and busi­ness­men. But his pop­u­lar­ity was not even enough to achieve a third re­elec­tion be­cause the HMB un­der then Faustino Del Mundo alias Com­man­der Su­mu­long re­port­edly sup­ported his op­po­nent, Eu­ge­nio Suarez, a scion of the landed Hen­son clan of An­ge­les. Suarez only served one term for he was trounced by the com­ing back Rafael Lazatin who in his early out­ings was de­feated by Fran­cisco G. Ne­po­mu­ceno.

Ne­po­mu­ceno won in the 1980 may­oral elec­tions but was de­feated in the 1988 elec­tions by an­other ris­ing po­lit­i­cal star, An­to­nio Abad San­tos the sone of the late ‘Man­ing Pu­tot’.

Back to Suarez who got the HMB back­ing in de­feat­ing Rafael Del Rosario Sr. in the 1967 polls. He didn’t see the proper take off of the city devel­op­ment plans be­cause of the dis­si­dents’ in­ter­fer­ence. The man was im­bued with a strong sense of loy­alty to the An­ge­lenos and was packed with en­thu­si­asm and en­ergy to dis­charge his func­tions. His po­lit­i­cal prom­ises hardly kept, his per­sonal pro­grams thwarted on many sides. Suarez was deeply frus­trated. He was one man who rode on a tiger.

Ar­mando ‘Doy’Ne­po­mu­ceno, a rel­a­tive of Fran­cisco G. Ne­po­mu­ceno, wrote about the lat­ter as an easy go­ing per­son. This was re­flected on the way he runs his cam­paign against Rafael Lazatin in the early years when they slugged it out for the gov­er­nor­ship. The same also when he run the An­gele City gov­ern­ment­the ‘same in­for­mal and shoul­der pat­ting per­son to per­son small talks. He was so well loved by the poor con­stituents. But his ap­peal to the masses wasn’t enough in the fire eat­ing or­a­tory of Tony Abad San­tos alias ‘Bubu­sok’. (Next: More about the An­ge­les elec­tions)

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