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Wednesday, 05 August 2015 10:41



Now that we have an idea who the four horsemen of life are for a rising country, the “saviors” of our provinces and cities will surface in the next few weeks — meaning, we will know who the probable candidates for local positions will be. In Zamboanga, those running for elective positions should state their intentions this early without violating election laws. I hear someone saying he will not telegraph his punches (familiar?). But we already know what he’s going to reveal because his relationship with the local chief executive is turning from luscious to sour...unless.

For as long as the socio-economic development of Zamboanga is not impeded, it is good to have this kind of caprice (escapada in Spanish) to liven up the political atmosphere. People are simply crazy about politics because that’s the only thing, other than men, women, gambling and booze, that excites the mind and kindles passion in discussions and debates.

Just to make it interesting by presuming that Mayor Ma. Isabel G. Climaco-Salazar is seeking re-election and Congressman Celso L. Lobregat is vying to be mayor again.

I suspect that the local (Zamboanga) leadership of the Liberal Party is now searching for candidates to fill up an entirely empty ticket. Mrs. Climaco-Salazar will be given a free hand to choose her hopefuls — from vice mayor to 16 councilors. Right now, she has only one — Elong Natividad, the ousted majority leader.

Mr. Lobregat will, as always, have full control to form his big ticket made up of lawyers, barangay chiefs, engineers, retirees and social workers. He has the machinery long formed by his highly-esteemed mother and legally-bolstered by a top barrister.

Locally, the LP boat can no longer be anchored in the estuary. The river, where its current collides with the sea, can no longer be influenced by the tide. Mrs. Climaco-Salazar needs to navigate her ship of promises by herself without the ‘captains’ and their patriarch telling her what to do and where to go.

That’s her greatest disadvantage. I can’t see her forming a solid line-up to match Mr. Lobregat’s job-seekers and money. Her battle series against the offense of a war-scarred politician will whittle down halfway to the finish line. Of course, the old Chinese money will be on her side, but certainly won’t be a guarantee for victory. Amen.

Allow me to stream to the west coast where my friend, Monsi de la Cruz, has announced his ambition to run for congress in the first congressional district. Without a Climaco or a Lobregat opposing him there, he is a surety. He’s got the machinery, money and prayers. As I see it, he is running the whole gamut of his unofficial campaign from A to Z. He almost, but not nearly, made it in 2013, but he fell short of cash the last seven days from defeating a political colossus. He reached the top of the beanstalk but couldn’t slay the giant.

I was one of the first he revealed his political plans to. It was after he celebrated mass at St. Joseph Church. “Bob, I’m running for mayor.” He certainly looked ready to get into politics and set aside his apostolic mission as a priest. Until the day for the filing of his certificate of candidacy with his running mate, Atty. Vic Solis (that’s another story), I tried to convince him not to leave the church. But he said that politics has become his calling and newfound vocation because Zamboanga wasn’t moving on terms of development. “I can serve the community with equal passion and divinity,” he said.

Well, he will be one of those to employ what the Greeks call ‘theocracy’ — a government run by a priest. That will make him a theocratic, over being dubbed as a ‘servant-leader’. Amen.