“Everybody has to start somewhere. I went to Tarlac to pray and asked God if this is what he really wanted me to do,” says Lazatin, general manager of Essel Supermarket and Bakeline.
Teaming up with Panlilio, Lazatin is now the Liberal Party’s official bet for the vice gubernatorial post. He is up against incumbent Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, running mate of former senior board member Lilia Pineda under the Lakas-CMD-Kampi party.
Civil society groups urged him to run though other respected individuals in Pampanga were also being considered then.
He said it was a short notice from various groups and individuals, about two to three weeks before the filing of the certificates of candidacy.
Lazatin admits “it’s not that easy to decide and I am sure Among Ed also felt the same way when he first ran for governor.”
“If (Panlilio) was able to make it without any running mate in the last elections, I think more people will support us especially now that we have a party. He believes that people, especially the Kapampangans, want real change,” Lazatin added.
He also rejected speculations that Panlilio had lost the Kapampangan’s trust and support.
And like LP’s congressional bet in the third district (businessman Pol Quiwa), Lazatin says his fight is not against the person contesting the same post, focusing more in pushing for good governance, a crusade started by Panlilio. The priest turned governor won in the 2007 elections against two powerful and influential opponents.
“I don’t view it as a fight against the person. It’s more of pushing for my personal advocacies.”
“Just like athletes, they don’t look who their opponents are but think of how they will win,” says Lazatin when asked about his chances against Guiao.
He also admits he has no platform right now, but what he offers is a continuing effort to push “and maintain what the good governor has started.”
Lazatin holds a degree in economics from the University of the Philippines- San Fernando in 1982.
He started his involvement in politics when he got involved in helping Panlilio not during the campaign, but when the latter won already.
In a telephone interview, Councilor Jimmy Lazatin says they will fully support the candidacy of his brother.
The political greenhorn earlier admitted that he had lengthy talks with Councilor Jimmy about politics. Now he says “I don’t see any hindrance [to pursue the fight] at this point.”