Noticeably Red

The Pogi’s way — after entering politics in 2013 as city councilor, Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr.— is now a brand of public service everyone recognizes.

So what’s the secret of his success? Supporters and critics alike say Lazatin has a rare combination of charm, warmth and an uncanny ability to win people over. Besides, politics is his life; coming from a political family who has reigned into power since the 1950s, and he’s a 24/7 politician whose energy and commitment no one can match. He was always there for the public and knew how to build loyalty. That’s why he has been so successful.

His successes as city councilor and city mayor was not the result of some devilishly clever planning. It was a combination of hard work, good timing, loyalty and the embedded sterling track record of his paternal generations in public service.

Lazatin’s winning formula comes from getting to know people in their communities, campaigning all year, and building coalitions. He notes that the running joke about him in the media is that there is nothing he won’t show up for. But little do critics know how people appreciate a politician who makes time for them and is seen to support their causes and interests. While rivals ridicule such appearances, he wins hearts and minds.

In my personal fearless prediction, it appears Lazatin is going to be reelected Mayor of Angeles City for three more years in 2022 and beyond, either for a third and final term or as congressman of the First District of Pampanga.

I am really delighted and truly we have something special going on here in Angeles City. We all should be proud of that, and I’m proud of that.

All of us are so lucky to live in a city with so many people who are civic minded. Lazatin has been committed to be a Mayor for all of Angeles City since he assumed office in 2019. He never held political grudges to critics or nemesis and no matter who you vote in next year’s elections, he pledged to continue to listen carefully and empathetically to each one of us. From Sapangbato to Cutud, Balibago to Sto. Domingo and everywhere in between, he will always hear our voice.

Lazatin served two terms in the City Council from 2013-2019 before his election to a first term as mayor. Three years fulfilled, three years forward, and a sure win for Lazatin in 2022. He has pledged to work on a slew of commitments, including economic resiliency, continuation of efforts to help residents and small businesses recover from the pandemic and other equitable recovery programs from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, create more affordable or socialized housing projects, environmental management and protection, construction of new school buildings, and a modern, well-equipped building for Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center. He also wanted to bring several new ideas to the city that were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Being reelected in a manner of speaking, provides him the opportunity to bring forth those ideas barely six months from now.

In his reelection bid, he is endorsed by the incumbent and unopposed Congressman Carmelo “Jon” Lazatin II, current Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting and seven (7) incumbent councilors (Atty. Pogs Suller, Dan Lacson, JC Parker Aguas, Doc Alfie Bonifacio, Niknok Banola, Jay Sangil, and Raco Del Rosario). To complete his slate, the three newcomers in the LALAV Team include Rodelio Mamac Jr., Aaron Pineda and CJ Ponce. All originated from political families with stronghold ties in various villages. Lazatin is also endorsed by two strong independent contenders in the city council notably Alex Cauguiran Sr., a city councilor from 1998-2004, and Alma Dizon-Mercado, a three termer Barangay Captain of Tabun. Her platform includes livelihood, transport, women, cooperatives, education, health and welfare programs for senior citizens.

Lazatin has an amazing team with the supervision of his Chief Adviser and Tactician IC Calaguas, a supportive family, dedicated supporters and loyal voters of Angeles City who will keep the reelection momentum moving forward together.

However, there are still challenges in the city Lazatin has to win over. One of those challenges is reaching out to the voter population who will not cast a ballot in his name come May 09, 2022.

To the population of voters, whom he did not meet their needs as mayor of this city for almost three years as he should have, Lazatin needs to excel and do a better job and he needs to explore and do more for that group of voters.

Normally, we cannot please everyone, however, it shows that Angelenos really care. I think, too, that a lot of Angelenos are passionate about this election and shows a lot of manifestations of concern, energy and passion for the city, which is good to see.