Table talking in Suterville PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 December 2015 14:57

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Two nights ago while seated at a corner table in my nightly hangout corner barbecue and beer neighborhood store in Suterville, with my Atenean friend Ernest John Palmos, who knows what is happening in the city’s politics, we were engrossed in a discussion of local politics centered on the city’s mayorship. Talking of the mayorship, there are only two prominent candidates and this is an interesting topic. The political contest of incumbent Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and former long time City Police Director Mario Biong Yanga, is a surprise to many voters, because all the while in the past months, many were even betting their choice that it will be a political battle of titans and one for the record,  Celso Lorenzo Lobregat versus Maria isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar. The political scenario started with a Big Bang but ended with a whimper, when former DILG Secretary and now LP standard bearer Mar Roxas, interceded and convinced the two local political giants not to pursue their political plan of opposing each other. That also gave credence to the people’s consultation of Congressman Lobregat, that he will let the people of Zamboanga City decide on what position he will run. The result of this political maneuverings is now creating doubts and surprises, because all of them came from one political stable, of the late city mayor Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat, who gave all of them the break in politics.

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Mayor Beng Climaco, was one of the favorite city councilors of Ma’am Caling, Celso L. Lobregat before he first ran for Congressman, lone district of Zamboanga City was the personal close adviser of M’aam Caling as City Mayor, until Ma’am Caling gave Celso in silver platter the seat for Congress.  Former City Police Chief Mario Biong Yanga started as police chief the late city mayor Ma’am Caling until the post of City Director was organized and Col. Yanga assumed the post several times, until he became Police General. He was the “trouble shooter” of the late Ma’am Caling and former Mayor Celso L.Lobregat, because equally trusted Col. Muammil was already retired and has passed away (may his soul rest in peace). The long story of this political scenario is “Tthe difference is the same” and it is an open-ended political development.

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On the issue of  “amor propio”, General  Yanga is a blue blooded native of the city like Beng Climaco-Salazar. He might have a stint on his youth in Jolo, learned and speak Tausug and by natural circumstances knew Tausug customs and tradition but has never embraced Jolo’s dominant Islam religion. General Yanga remains a member of the Christian Protestant sect, which he publicly identifies himself. In fairness, General Yanga served Zamboanga city on the aspect of security almost his entire prime of life. Like the Climaco’s, Lobregat’s and other political names in the city, General Yanga, also contributed to the prosperity of the city.

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There is now a problem of acceptance. The brokered unity of Climaco-Salazar and Lobregat by LP Standard bearer Mar Roxas, might be in peril, because Mar Roxas’s popularity is sliding to a dangerous level. Hhowever, Liberal Party’s capacity in logistics and campaign kitty is still beyond question. As far as campaign spending issue is concerned,  LP candidates are in safe hands, that is if the Filipino voters still cling to the notion of selling their votes in the guise of “daan matuwid” and forget about Junie Climaco’s advocacy of “Stop Corruption”.

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Scoop: In every political exercise and contest, one or two or several candidates are earmarked as “sacrificial lambs” by their benefactors to ensure the victory of their favored candidate. This is the worst form of political strategy and the secret political tool of corrupt traditional politicians (trapos). You can find them here in Zamboanga City and they are now clapping their hands before your votes are counted. Zamboanga City will only be peaceful and prosperous, if we send them to hell. Agree or disagree, this is my opinion.