PAMINTUAN-GUIAO. Doube team or double cross?
Photo by Ric Gonzales
ANGELES CITY – “I was accused of something I haven’t done yet or even thought about then. Oh, 2013 (elections) was still far then.”
Thus said Mayor Edgardo “Ed” Pamintuan in his speech on Sunday night when he formally announced his support to the first district congressional bid of Pampanga Vice Gov. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao.
Pamintuan, who delivered an emotional speech in front of 28 Angeles City barangay captains and their councilors, referred to the accusation of Rep. Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin then that he was entering an alliance with Guiao against the solon who was at that time keen on keeping his post.
Lazatin has since announced he would contest the Angeles City mayorship in a head-to-head fight with Pamintuan.
Although Pamintuan did not mention Lazatin by name in his speech, he mentioned the phrase “double-cross,” a term used by Lazatin as a factor in his decision to run for mayor, surprising allies and supporters of both camps.
Pamintuan said he and Gov. Lilia Pineda, who is backing the congressional bid of Guiao, “have high respect for each other and they never spoke about Yeng Guiao and his plans to run for congressman then.”
Pamintuan said he decided to come out in the open and support Guiao because “it’s the real team now, rain or shine.” He described Guiao as a “fresh start” who will cooperate for the common good of the people.
“Guiao is a team player who will not unfairly fight me in the future,” he added.
Chanced upon at SM City Clark on Tuesday, Lazatin said “my speculation that Pamintuan was siding with Guiao then was proved true” with the alliance the two forged last Sunday.
Lazatin said he was alarmed and speculative of Pamintuan’s “real plans” because the mayor was “already preparing for political battles” early this year considering he was virtually unopposed then.
“The mayor was preparing early and was building political networks then. It was I who was supposed to prepare very early because I was up against the vice governor,” said Lazatin, who allied with Pamintuan in 2010, allowing both of them to trounce their respective rivals.
But Lazatin stressed that it was the “unfair” raising of taxes due to high assessments that forced him to seek anew his old post which he held for nine years beginning 1998.
“So many big and small businesses had complained about the exorbitant taxes imposed in the city. Worse, the Pamintuan government has taxes for just about anything and anyone, including jeepney and tricycle drivers and even vendors,” said Lazatin.