Tough luck

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    IT WAS not sheer luck that gave Coach Yeng Guiao the championship in the recent Governors Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association.

    It was more of talent and tenacity, grit and determination of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and of Guiao, plus his superiority as strategist and savvy as tactician, that set his team to its date with destiny.

    So too, it is not sheer luck, not even “lots of luck,” as he himself deemed in last Sunday’s endorsement of him by 28 of Angeles City’s barangay chairs, that is now irreversibly moving Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao to his own date with his political destiny.

    Luck – Guiao sees in the sudden turn-about of sitting 1st District Rep. Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin from sure re-election to unsure comeback to the Angeles City hall.     

    Luck may really have favoured Guiao there. For against Tarzan’s doctorate in first district politics, Guiao’s Pampanga vice governorship is kindergartenish, at best prep-schoolish.

     I won’t give though a definitive “No Contest” there. Rather, I would go the way of difficult winning chances in the PBA – “bilog ang bola” and pray really hard for a miracle.

    But luck has little, if anything, to do with the corporate titan Manny V. Pangilinan investing his total faith in Guiao.

    “The only candidate who could make things greater in Angeles City, Mabalacat, and Magalang.” Said MVP of Guiao on his birthday bash in his hometown Apalit only last month.

    And upped his ante further, thus: “There could be no other leader to lead Pampanga’s first district but Yeng Guiao. He is a statesman and I strongly believe he will push more for the development of the area much that he is young, brilliant, and steadfast.” 

    As early as December last year, MVP had already taken to calling Guiao privately and publicly “Congressman.”

    This, even in front of the then still-keen-in-re-electing Cong. Tarzan Lazatin, as happened at the Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards rites where MVP was guest of honor and Tarzan MOKA for government service.

    Rather than luck too, it was – still is – Guiao’s strong sense of loyalty that endeared him to the Pinedas, unarguably Pampanga’s foremost and most formidable political powerbase – the patriarch is renowned kingmaker, the matriarch is…well, not queen, but governor.

    Guiao not only provides the legislative ground to Gov. Lilia “Nanay Baby” Pineda’s development agenda, but even serves as the vanguard  in the implementation of impact programs and projects, foremost of which is the quarry industry where the so-called “miracle” wielded by former Gov. Eddie T. Panlilio proved but a flash in the current administration’s consistently constant million-peso-per-day collection.

    ‘Tis often heard, whoever gets endeared to the Nanay, the Tatay loves as much – for Guiao, maybe even more.      

    Businessman-philanthropist Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda has apparently shed his shy, always-in-the-background ways – he was barely seen in Nanay Baby’s gubernatorial runs – if only to impact his support for Guiao.

    At the Fortune Seafood Restaurant in Barangay Balibago last Sunday, Mister Pineda made a quiet but compelling presence during the presentation of the manifesto of support to Guiao by the 28 village chiefs of the city.

    There was as long a line, if not longer, to Mister Pineda’s table as to Guiao’s of  barangay chairmen and their kagawads taking turns to have their pictures taken with the beneficent lord and his chosen.

    The Pinedas and MVP make an already formidably massive support base for Guiao’s congressional run.

    This notwithstanding, there is Angeles City that – only last month I wrote here – is a hard nut to crack for Guiao, given the possibility of its opting for its own in a contest against an outsider.

    With Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan going gung-ho for Guiao and the manifesto of support of his 28 village chiefs that possibility comes – at least on paper – to nought.    

    And then, there is Mabalacat City Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales pledging himself and his people to “support Guiao 100 percent of the way, less than that is not accepted.” 

    “Llamado.”  Indeed, Guiao has become the man to beat in the first district congressional race.     

    It’s still a long way though to May 2013. And it will not be that easy as it looks now for Guiao.

    Pound-for-pound, inch-for-inch, to give Guiao the fight of his life is the man I have always rooted for in any and all elections he entered – presidential, congressional, mayoral – Luisito Bacani!

    Political stock may have been stacked heavily in Guiao’s favour.

    Still I am telling you now: It will take more than MVP, more than the Pinedas, more than Mayors EdPam and Boking, plus all the 28 city village chiefs for Guiao to take the fight out of Bacani, his only worthy rival.

    That’s just tough luck for Guiao.

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