Closed alliance PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 September 2015 15:55

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — When Elpidio Quirino, the man that moved on a “golden urinola”, was president, his field commanders in the Liberal Party in Zamboanga were learned and respected individuals led by Don Pablo Lorenzo and Mayor Manuel D. Jaldon. From the Lorenzos came the Lobregats; from the Jaldons, Joaquin Enriquez, Jr. Their most trusted lieutenant was Mayor Cesar C. Climaco. (He ran thrice as a senator and lost all tries, landing ninth in all senatorial contests.)

They were indisputably, positively allies. These great families helped shape our city to what it is now, vibrant in all aspects. Now the city is run and managed by their grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Refined in movement and polished in his language, Don Pablo directed politics in Zamboanga and helped dozens of Zamboanguenos in job-placements.

Mayor Jaldon was President Quirino’s last appointed mayor of Zamboanga. He could have been the secretary of national defense if only he bolted the vaunted Liberal Party (LP) to join Ramon Magsaysay and the Nacionalista Party (NP). But his reply to Magsaysay’s emissary, “I will not give up a sinking ship.” So, it came to pass that when he ran for congress, the NP candidate defeated him — his relative, the Filibuster Roseller T. Lim.

Bereft of a candidate for mayor, Mayor Jaldon summoned Cesar C. Climaco to his residence and asked him to run against “El Turtuga” - Hector C. Suarez, the little big man of the NP.

And it also came to pass that CCC beat HCS by 300 votes, all coming from Taluksangay whose patriarch was a diehard LP. He went on to become the secretary to the mayor. Thus came about a Supreme Court petition filed by “Hecky” for statistical improbability. Failure to prove such, CCC became the first elected mayor of Zamboanga city. The rest is an interesting past.

CCC was Don Pablo and Mayor Jaldon’s “golden boy”, as was Manuel A. Dalipe to CCC. Not to create more intrigues, but can’t you see why Dalipe’s son, Mannix, is the alcalde’s runningmate?

After Don Pablo’s demise, his daughter, the glorious Mrs. Maria Clara L. Lobregat, surfaced. Unlike her father before her, but like her beautiful mother, she was liberal with her money, so charitable to the needy to the point of being a philanthropist.

Mrs. Lobregat and CCC were good friends, until the advent of Martial Law. The former became president of Cocofed and the latter a staunch critic of Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos and took a bullet in the head for it.

The Cocofed was the main reason for the break-up of the Lobregat-Climaco alliance. Mayor Joaquin Enriquez, Jr. joined the fray by exposing alleged anomalies in the Cocofed. He would provide the late E. Rene R. Fernandez with documents showing the alleged irregularities and, of course, expecting the documents to be published in The Morning Times. Ironically, ERRF became Mrs. Lobregat’s secretary and speechwriter.

History is history, better archived. Not quite, ladies and gentlemen. The animosity that separated the Lorenzos (Lobregats) and the Climacos continues. Unless the terrible pollution in China has affected her mind, Mayor Climaco-Salazar is running for reelection. She will not give in to the relentless assault of the immediate-past occupant of City Hall to get back what once was his.

The issue is no longer the plight of the farmers. Like I said, next year’s election will be about character, about vision, about the future.

From being close allies to closed alliance.