October over PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 11:02

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — It looks like Red October is over. From someone who just flew in from the City of Charm, pride, pleasantries, unique tradition, and flowers (no Latinos), the make up for next year’s local election is done.

With his prideful personality cemented in his years of vast experience as a congressman and mayor, the honorable Celso L. Lobregat is running for mayor, with former Congressman Erbie Fabian as his second. (This, I understand, is subject to negotiation.)

I also heard that the incumbent alcaldeza will have former Vice Mayor Mannix Dalipe as her running mate.

A good match-up. They used to be the four aces.

Unless political cowardice sets in and the specter of defeat radiating on their faces like a flash of thunder, the above mix is not only Reality TV, but very authentic — not made in China.

A silently-commissioned survey astonishingly showed the LADY FROM STA. MARIA leading her KUYA from a nose to a kilometer. Everything will change when the official campaign period commences in late March. Of course, the unofficial one started months ago already. It’s not electioneering if you don’t say VOTE FOR ME or anything to that effect. Stating your ambition isn’t an election offense.

Going back to KUYA, he is now in Manila (or Quezon City) sitting in the appro com that reviews all budget proposals for 2016. Wait until the House gets to the part of evaluating the budget of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). There will be major revisions, even rescensions, that can/may stir a more violent Mindanao insurgency. A watered-down Bangsamoro Basic Law is unacceptable to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It has repeatedly said that.

A major slash in the ARMM’s proposed astronomical budget to manage an autonomous government that doesn’t represent the entire Muslim population is an added affront to the MILF’s cause. Money and guns are integral to freedom fighters.

Mr. Lobregat’s strategy of gaining national prominence while maintaining his visibility and voice in  the local scene (Zamboanga) through his incisive, valid arguments on some constitutional infirmities of the BBL is obvious — endear himself with the voters by making them feel safe with him as he continues to fight for Zamboanga’ exclusion from the new political entity.

Getting back City Hall will be a dogfight, turning into a pitched battle in the last two weeks of the campaign. Unseating LITTLE SISTER is a tough chore. But the good thing going for KUYA is that he’s been there too long, legislating and supremely leading for the last 17 years (OMG!). He has become an important part of the democratic process and beholden to no one. He manages his own campaign with absolute brilliance and extreme efficiency.

Given his long association with his party, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), his preparation for the toughest campaign of his political journey and his unknown war chest and smart donors still give Mr. Lobregat the edge in an election likely to favor the Liberal Party.