Even in local debate, mayoral bet Lito Lapid is absent
ANGELES CITY, Philippines – Senator Lito Lapid, who is known as a top absentee in the senate, skipped a local candidates' forum on Tuesday, April 26, at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, where he is running for mayor.
Lapid's rival, incumbent vice mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting, took a swipe at the senator, saying that the city “doesn’t need an absentee or a proxy mayor.”
Lapid, who is serving his second term in the senate, announced in 2015 that he would run for mayor of Angeles City, claiming that he is more suited for that work.
In the Senate, Lapid was among the most prolific senators, but related the difficulty of legislative work, including the debate on Reproductive Health (RH) law. He was absent during the voting of the contentious measure.
Another candidate, reelectionist mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, was also absent during the forum but was represented by his son, lawyer Alberto Pamintuan III.
As the audience cheered for her, Cabigting highlighted her platform that focuses on women's concerns. She stressed that not voting for her rivals is the first step to achieving a transparent and accountable government.
Angeles City has about 150,000 registered voters for the May 9 polls.
Meanwhile, vice-mayoral candidates barangay captain Tony Mamac, lawyer Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno, and lawyer Willie Rivera, presented their platforms that tackled various issues like health, employment, and local economy.
Mamac was the only candidate who raised the concern on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV ) as one of the city’s main health problems.
Nepomuceno, on the other hand, focused on employment and livelihood. He vowed to help make the city council “responsive, inclusive, effective, and transparent.”
Rivera's plans included lowering the real property and business taxes. He also promised to champion the rights of women and children as he tackled the problem on “walking street”, Angeles City’s red light district.
Lawyer Arvin Suller and Severino Madlangbayan snubbed the forum.
No more jueteng
Nepomuceno, Cabigting, and Pamituan claimed during the forum that there is no more jueteng in Angeles City.
Vega added that only the Small Town Lottery (STL) operates in the city, noting that it is legal and sanctioned by the national government.
Meanwhile, incumbent first district representative Joseller Yeng Guiao, vowed to push the Clark airport development and to fight for an increase in the internal revenue allotment (IRA) share of senior citizens and persons with disability. He was the only congressional candidate who showed up.
What do you think about the candidates and their platforms? Would you like to discuss other hot issues in your communities. Blog about them on X. – Rappler.com
Reginald Gregg Ceballos, a college student from Holy Angel University, is one of Rappler’s lead Movers in Pampanga.