BEHIND THE LINES: Slam-bang fight PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 August 2014 11:39



SAN FRANCISCO, CA. — If you haven’t paid attention to it yet, three major stories are hugging the headlines — the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, the war between Israel and Hamas and the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq in an effort to stop the advance of the ISIS. There are other sub-headlines like the ever continuing conflict between South and North Korea, the Malaysian Airlines plane that was downed by a missile, the never-ending “Mindanao conflict” in the Philippines, the Russia-Ukraine dispute that may lead to full-scale war, and the conflict in the Middle East. People here are saying that the world is on fire. From your daily readings, conversations and news, is the world really on fire?

In sweet Zamboanga, we, too, have headaches to deal with — peace and order, the surge of criminality (index and non-index crimes), the monstrous traffic and the displaced people resulting from the Sept. 9, 2013 attack staged by heavily-armed followers of Moro National Liberation Front (MNL) chieftain Nur Misuari. If and when we find the key to resolve these issues (and pronto, please) then we can start talking about “building back better” as is the slogan of some Republicans. The last two are attainable if only we put our efforts together — the government and the private sector. The first toothache (and the most important) can’t be solved unless the police and the military get the guns from the goons, gangs, private armies and the rebels. Failing to do this will have dire consequences that can approximate or equal what is happening in Iraq now. God forbid!

Former Congressman Erbie Fabian, who is enjoying his golf now more than anything else, covered the police intensively when he was a reporter of the defunct First United Broadcasting Corporation, a firm that was owned by the late Mrs. Maria Clara L. Lobregat. He knows what guns can do if they fall in the wrong hands. Together, we (I was assistant editor of the defunct The Morning Times) covered the “Batalla Siege” from Day 1 to the day the camp in Cawa-Cawa was retaken by the police.

Mr. Fabian’s platform of government when he ran for mayor in 2013 was very clear: peace and order, power (electricity) for the people and more meaningful infrastructure. But as things turned out, he lost to a worthy opponent who now faces the moment of her career. Whether or not Mr. Fabian will make a political comeback in 2016 is a big question mark. Perhaps, Drigs Balbon has an answer. First, he does not have a campaign chest. Never mind the other reasons.

But, seriously, Mr. Fabian knows how to safeguard people’s lives for he is also a nurse. He had a crash course on how to fight crime when he took up “Duterte 101” in Davao. Don’t be deceived by Mr. Fabian’s sunny smiling looks. He’s got knowledge in his brain. If he makes a political reappearance in 2016, it won’t be for pride but for love of Zamboanga.

As your favorite lawyer, top barrister Vic R. Solis said, the future can’t be told. Analyzing the field, Mayor Climaco-Salazar will run for re-election and her rightful foe will be Congressman Celso L. Lobregat who is only on a three-year sabbatical from city hall. He wants to get it back. Some say this scenario is only a myth to bamboozle the minds of the electorate. It can be an actuality. The mayor’s handlers are saying that she is gunning for a second term, while Mr. Lobregat, a Shakespearean actor that he is, will not telegraph his punches.

As for Mr. Fabian, he’ll bleed for a while, but he’ll get back on his feet in time to do battle in 2016.