Rivalries and envy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 May 2015 08:26

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — Next year’s election in the local level has become predictable more than any past races. Cong. Celso L. Lobregat attempting to retake City Hall; Mayor Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar trying to hold on to it; the opposition hellbent on taking it; and an attempt by a minority force to measure up to the electorate by experimenting on their electability. The first two scenarios are most likely to happen, unless the charismatic and, what appears to be, indelible Mr. Lobregat throws in the towel and allows Mrs. Climaco-Salazar to rein for another three years (six would be too presumptuous, na).

Mr. Lobregat’s feat in public service is extraordinary — fighting tooth and nail against the city government spending over P400 million for the concreting of the Zamboanga-Licomo highway; the inclusion of Zamboanga city in the expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); questioning the legality of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain that would have created a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity; and raising certain doubts as to the constitutionality of some proposed provisions in the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will lead to the creation of a new ARMM, granting that it is ratified.

He commanded his “troops” well — feeding and rewarding them — as mayor and congressman. He engineered a tax reform program that bloated the city’s annual budget and packed the city’s vault with more money than ever before and, by doing so, solidified the city’s financial position. Generating more money means having more infrastructure and, therefore, jobs and economic growth. The present administration is enjoying that fiscal rectification.

In coffee shops, restaurants, burger kiosks, bars, barber shops and even churches, people muse about how better they are in running the city. What? Seriously? Really? Their disdain for the government, though irritatingly repetitious and annoyingly boring, is borne out of disgust for perceived poor management by the administrators and too much political patronage benefiting only a chosen few. They sound like they want the politicians’ job, yet they seek not the job. The louts don’t issue thank-you cards for the stable state they’re in, rather disparage for not being where they want to be. Whose fault is that?

Is it envy? The green-eyed monsters just simply would not accept the successes of politicians, in this Mr. Lobregat and Mrs. Climaco-Salazar. Mr. Lobregat does not live an epicurean life as to be harshly criticized. Sensing that, he got to do what John Lyly counsels: “The greatest harm that you can do unto the envious is to do well.” Bon mot? No. Authentic!

This is why the Lobregat-Salazar perilous rivalry must STOP now. Politics is only an episode in life. The dominant politicians are headed for a break. It has happened to others in the past. It will be repeated unless the “handlers” of both Mr. Lobregat and Mrs. Climaco-Salazar hold a parley and decide to support a mutual candidate.

The enemy now is no longer the opposition, i.e. Mannix Dalipe, Jawo Jimenez, Mel Agan, although they still are tempestuous like the knights of the road. They, too, will be consolidating their forces. But the REAL future opposition will come from those who will govern the ARMM. They won’t settle for what will be granted to them, assuming that the proposed new Muslim domain is ratified. They will try to conquer more lands, subjugate more communities and try to rule the whole of Mindanao. Their first step to attaining self-rule — not only existing as a sub-state or an autonomous region like Hong Kong — is now in hands of Congress.

That is why we should band together so we may protect our shores. That is why it is imperative that we rally behind a tested politician, whoever she or he may be, who has only but love for Zamboanga. That is why the “Summit of Businessmen” must be called so that they, and eventually us, may choose THE leader.