‘War’ PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 10:39

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — Both of them came from a Jesuit school, although one of them has a masters degree from the Asian Institute of Management. There’s a saying here that the baby-boom generation is running the country to the ground. Our two most insuperable, unbeatable (so far) politicians are the sort-of architects and engineers of advancing Zamboanga. Mayor Ma. Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar is not as colorful as her uncle, the great Cesar C. Climaco. Congressman Celso L. Lobregat is not as captivating as his mother, the glorious Madam Maria Clara Lorenzo-Lobregat. Years ago, his critics were taunting him that he couldn’t win without his mother. He proved them wrong.

Mrs. Climaco-Salazar, like Mr. Lobregat, jumps at opportunities to announce that which are good for Zamboanga, the latest being the recipient of the National Competitiveness Awards for being number 3, next to Cebu and Manila, in the infrastructure pillar based on road network, comprehensive land use plan, indicator of visitor capacity, availability of basic utilities, annual investments in infrastructure, ICT capacity, mobility of the local population and financial liquidity/development in the locality. Whew! Really? Is the award reflective of what she has accomplished in just more than two years in office and in the aftermath of the 2013 bloody Zamboanga siege that brought about the slogan “build back better?” Opening a new road that will connect Nunez extension to Gov. Ramos is Sta. Maria is a resounding project that partly addresses traffic congestion.

Mr. Lobregat, on the other hand, stands solidly on his infrastructure-initiated projects in his district. He doesn’t have purse control unlike Mrs. Climaco-Salazar. But still he delivers. And to get crowd attention, he regularly speaks on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, pointing out some constitutional constraints that may be (will be) challenged in the Supreme Court.

They’re both hugging the headlines, in print and broadcast. They’re both seen in social gatherings, in assemblage of barangay officials in order to generate attention. These little gimcracks can add to their votes. Both have become too gregarious (aha).

Both have come clean, so far, because their kind of politics is paved with good intentions. So, they can sleep well, fearing not of the Tyburn tree.

Mrs. Climaco-Salazar and Mr. Lobregat are well-financed. Their campaign donors come from all over the country, nay, even abroad. They are well-endorsed. Since the last elections, Mrs. Climaco-Salazar has developed a well-oiled political machinery — from the grassroots, youth, to the professionals. Mr. Lobregat’s main weapons are pretty much intact. If they come to ‘blows’ next year, the election will be about character.

There are no negative issues against them. The 2013 siege is not an issue. That was bad luck (mal swerte). The series of heinous crimes committed during Mr. Lobregat’s watch wasn’t about his failure to contain criminality, but of index crimes bound to happen because of terrorism, jealousy, imported business rivalry and drugs.

I wish that they don’t confront each other and be satisfied with what they have. They’re doing a great job from where they are positioned now. Isn’t service, above self, their primordial calling?

But this doesn’t change my endorsement of Atty. Vic R. Solis as candidate for the Constitutional Convention, if ever that happens next year.