The status quo petition in Zambo. City PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 June 2015 10:32

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Very recently this week, the city’s political scene was jolted by a shocking petition, requesting chairmen of the city’s 98 barangays to sign a petitionfor a status quo for elective positions in the city from Congress Representative to city’s vice mayorship. Specifically the petitioned positions are (table talk has not seen the petition but we based this comment on radio commentaries) Congressional Districts 1 and 2 with Representatives Celso Lobregat and Lilia Nuno to remain as is, Mayor Beng Climaco and Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde also to run for re-election. The petition aims to keep the group intact and politically formidable and should there be a strong opposition, their followers and supporters will not break up. This petition that aims to keep local elected leaders intact has divided the ranks of barangay leaders. The petition, we were informed, has not been signed unanimously and there are strong dissension.

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There is now a debate, as to who masterminded the petition and almost all high profile elected leaders in the city are denying any knowledge on the petition. Local political analysts in the city are also surprised on this new political move and coffee shop rumors say that “fear” of losing by some incumbents is now creeping into their nerves because of so many issues against them. The Napoles PDAF scam, the gasoline anomaly at the city council, the MNLF siege, the coal-fired power plant fiasco, City Hall’s unfair handling of employment and promotion issue, water district project contracts and Zamcelco’s energy contracts in which the city government played an important role. These  are issues that need answers and clarifications and sure to become campaign subjects.. The petition for a status quo, “stirred the hornet’s nest”. Who are responsible for this costly mess?

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Many believe it can be an elected leader who wants the mayorship or a strategic propaganda, coming from a would-be candidate for city mayor or congress representative, who feel and think that the popularity and acceptance of Mayor Beng Climaco or Congressman Lobregat have declined. Some also believe that this is the idea of businessmen and supporters, whose job contracts are not yet terminated and would wish a continuation of their business after 2016.  Any of them could be the planners of the petition because they wouldn’t lose anything in testing the loyalties of barangay leaders.

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Aside from the petition, the biggest problem of the city of Zamboanga is not the BBL or the Moro votes. It is  because they are totally divided. The danger is the interference of President PNoy Aquino in the 2016 election. At this early, it has been in the news that the campaign “kitty” of the Liberal Party of the President is P3 Trillion and might still increase in the coming months. This awesome budget is almost three times more than the entire population of the country and almost like the national budget. Imagine the impact of this huge budget to the Filipino voters who sell their votes. Status quo in Zamboanga City will not work for Congressman Celso Lobregat who has been at odds with the President on the BBL. But it will greatly boost the city mayor. The ball is now in the court of the city’s voters —  to sell or not to sell their votes.

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Scoop: Monsi dela Cruz has already made his intention clear for the congressional seat in District 1. He can be a “dark horse” in this coming election and what if he will be an alternative candidate for the President’s party? Everything is possible in PNoy administration.The church caravan is leading to the Palace.