Same old promises PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 January 2016 15:18

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

2015 started with promises for a better tomorrow — that’s why the slogan BUILD BACK BETTER. Because it is an election year, most chorus, BRING BACK BENG. Amazing. And as the year 2015 came to a close and the optimists welcome the new year, we hear of recycled promises. And because we start examining our conscience and decide upon conclusion whom to vote, we shall listen in March utterances of continuity, unity, teamwork from the red shirts that may change our minds.

I don’t know how that’s going to work this time, considering that the red shirts and the yellow army have parted ways for petty reasons. One wanted to run unopposed, the other one’s ambition to return to City Hall was demolished as the third stood pat on getting a second consecutive term as the local chief executive. The proverbial ‘clash of the Titans’ isn’t forthcoming. That may happen in 2019, or even in 2022.

Que childish of the three to be fighting over nothing, considering their alliance and close family relationship in days of glorious past. Cesar C. Climaco, Don Pablo Lorenzo and Jainuddin Nuno were families of the same group — the Liberal Party. Together in the 50s and early 60s they stirred our city into a hopeful future, aiming only for the best for their constituents. That ‘triangle offense’ was scuttled because of GREED and LUST for POWER, the result of which is more negativism for a city that’s fighting to create an atmosphere of secured investments through better enforcement of law and order.

They — Climaco, Lobregat and Nuno — can come to sensible terms again if only they’d shrug off their Brutusian ambitions and think ZAMBOANGA. Keep the faith. You’re in office because the people believe in you. Said Edward Kennedy when he exhorted the Democrats: “Someday, long after this convention, long after this signs come down (I see no more ‘Zamboanga, Asia’s Latin city billboards), and the crowds stop cheering, and the bands stop playing, may it be said of our campaign that we kept the faith.”

Mr. Celso Lobregat is furious that his billboards and slogans have been taken down and his projection to retake city hall stripped by an equally ambitious lady that has sharply divided a well-oiled coalition that has ruled the city for more than 30 years.

Do we see hope in 2016? Hope when our leaders are squabbling like kindergarten pupils and overlooking the needs of the poor, Zambo-humans? No one has seriously addressed our traffic problem. Simply throw away the Traffic Code of Zamboanga if it can’t be implemented. Garbage the Investment Code of Zamboanga, a solid economic policy authored by former Councilor Ric Baban if we don’t have a program that will get capitalists to invest here.

Why can’t we rationalize the operation of tricycles? Is it fear that the legislators gunning for re-election would lose votes? Right now, tricycle drivers are taking advantage of their passengers by charging 20 PESOS per passenger for even the shortest of routes. We might  as well encourage Mr. Eddie Cheong and the Ledesmas and Evangelistas to reinvest in the taxi business. It makes sense: from the bus terminal in Divisoria to downtown, tricycle drivers charge 200-300 PESOS. A taxi, with a flag down rate of 40 PESOS, would be cheaper, considering that a car can load four people.  Relegate the tricycles to the barangays.

Then there’s another political intervention that we will have to live with — the Bangsamoro political entity. There’s no stopping its creation.

So, promises for 2016 are promises of years past. Nothing vibrant, nothing spectacular, nothing noble, nothing that will carry an exclamation point. Nonetheless, HAPPY NEW YEAR!