Zamboanga ‘plastikan’ politics PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:00

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Listening to the early morning interview of District 1 Congressman Celso L. Lobregat (Conglo) by FM broadcaster Sai Cortez in his program over FM Radio Brigada Duru,  the solon made mention of “plastic” actuation (in the local parlance, it is a gesture of hiding the truth with a misleading answer). Conglo revealed the true nature of Zamboanga politicians, where many of them are not telling the truth on their political conviction. As an example, it was revealed when Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar was interviewed after they filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) and Conglo did not oppose her for the city mayorship, she directly answered in the interview that she will support the candidacy of Conglo.  But from the grapevine, Conglo was informed that some of her candidates for city councilor are seen in the company of Conglo’s opponent for Congress Monsi dela Cruz. Another example was former servant of God turned politician, Crisanto Dela Cruz also issued press releases that many barangay chairmen formerly Conglo’s loyal followers have “jumped ship” and are now with Monsi Dela Cruz political camp. According to Conglo, the truth will only be known when the local campaign period starts. He believes Monsi and those barangay chairmen are innocent victims of “plastic” politics, where Monsi is quick to take their pictures when they are in his company and releases them immediately to the press.

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As the local campaign period nears, it is becoming more fascinating and intriguing. Congressman Lobregat said at point blank during the morning interview that “he is not keen in supporting Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar’s candidacy” and he said this from the very beginning after they were allegedly patched up by Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas. That is the truth he said repeatedly. As suspected by many political pundits in the city he will endorse the candidacy of retired Police General Mario Biong Yanga for city mayor, he answered in the negative but on the other hand Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, he was informed is openly supports Monsi Dela Cruz, his Congress opponent. Who is telling the truth and who is indulged in “plastic politics” will be known when local campaign will be in full blast.

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At this early when it is a violation of COMELEC rules for local candidates to indulge in campaigning, Congressman Lobregat revealed that Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar’s camp is conducting “pulong-pulong” in the barangays and also with Monsi Dela Cruz political camp. Conglo said a “pulong-pulong” is already campaigning and a different story if you are invited for a fiesta celebration.

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“I cannot support Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar’s candidacy because it was her who drew the first blood, by fielding a complete city council slate, including those who were politically against me even today” and “she left me with no option but to put up also a complete city council slate which I will endorse and support,” he continued. Indeed, this is confusing. For the first time we have 24 city council candidates from the same political party vying for 12 positions in a political district. And one sure thing will happen, many city councilors will be left to fend for themselves, if the Liberal Party headquarters will decide to split their financial support between Conglo and Mayor Beng or if the power stakeholders, that is interested in an Investment Management Contract (IMC) with Zamcelco will decide to withhold their huge financial political budget support to administration candidates as what rhey have done in the recently concluded election of 2013. With what is happening politically between Conglo and Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, financial supporters will decide for a “wait and see” stand so as not to commit a mistake in supporting a loser that has no return on their investments.

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Scoop: Zamboanga voters must expect a heated verbal campaign. This is good for the city, hidden agenda and shenanigans of the past will be known. The split of Conglo and Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar politically has just “opened the Pandora’s Box”. Again agree or disagree.