Down to two PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 July 2015 11:26

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — We’re down to two recognized leaders, not because the others aren’t, but because they’re the only ones undefeated to be elected as mayor of the city that lives on grit daily, gyrating with multiple, oftentimes unmanageable, problems. They twiddle their thumbs everyday looking for solutions to overcome the pangs that ignite anger and disappointment such as the water crisis, the paralyzing, irritating blackouts, unstable peace and order resulting in economic and social uncertainty. Zamboanga has been bitten by a rattle snake and our leaders don’t seem to have an antidote. But, don’t get angry, as in Ecclesiastes 7:9 :”Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”

For the last six months, Mayor Ma. Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar and Cong. Celso L. Lobregat have been sharing the headlines in print and broadcast on the proposed law that will create a Bangsamoro, and issue that has provided nothing but antagonism and antipathy amongst the people of Mindanao. Is this special region the antecedent to peace? Living generals of the army and former commanders of the defunct Southern Command will tell you that it is not. It ought to be and hoped to be, but it is not. And they speak from bloody experiences as they commanded their troops in the “war” zones against the rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and later on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

What President Aquino seeks to establish now was what President Marcos, Chief of Staff Fabian Ver, Police Chief Fidel V. Ramos and Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile tried to do with Nur Misuari and his well-armed, foreign-trained fighters. Marcos, through Rear Adm. Romulo Espaldon and his successors, peddled money to the “rebel returnees” in exchange for their WWII vintage guns, not their weapons of destruction that killed many officers and men in bloody encounters. Marcos gave them money to buy fishing boats and to grow agar-agar as their main means of livelihood. Some of them were even integrated into the armed forces and were called “integrees”. What do we call those MILF fighters who were decommissioned along with their firearms? Doesn’t the MILF have a declared armed force of 15,000? Where are they and their guns?

There’s nothing historical to what Pres. Aquino is doing now “in the name of peace.” It’s nothing more than an imitation of what Marcos did with the MNLF — this time with the MILF. Did the Marcos dictum end the “war” in Mindanao? Did his theory of peace silence the guns of the MNLF? Did it spare Zamboanga, Cotabato, Davao and Cagayan de Oro from bombings, killings and kidnappings?

Nevertheless, our two leaders will continue to fight for us and our city that is plagued with all sorts of difficulties and challenges. They should not dawdle any longer and fix these problems. Enough talking and lecturing about the Bangsamoro political entity because that region will surely come about. The Tausogs have their dominion in the south. The Maranaos will have their nation soon. And Zamboanga, a highly-urbanized city, is right in the middle of everything. Everybody happy, ‘di ba?