Masepla issue, what’s the real score? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 March 2016 15:13

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

The Masepla, the MNLF siege victims’ transitory site, an issue which is fast becoming a political controversy, is something that the city’s concerned citizens must monitor and watch, for the sake of the city’s industrial peace. Serious allegations of charges are being heaped by some incumbent city councilors belonging to the group of Distict 1 Congressman Celso L. Lobregat against the administration of incumbent City Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar. If this will go on until the local campaign period, this issue will bloom into a full blown “political family feud”, between the Lobregat political camp and the Climaco-Salazar camp who all belonged to one silent political coalition group. When this happens, it will open the “phandora’s box” and exposed to the public, a “can of worms”. This will be the worst political scenario that Zamboanga City’s political leadership have dreaded to happen, after painstakingly keeping them “on hold” through a political coalition for convenience.

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The real issue on this Masepla controversy that our political leadership must tackle is not the request for an additional site for the construction of new transitory tenements for the evacuees or victims of MNLF siege to be funded by foreign funds. The real issue is that must be investigated by all politicians is, who were those evacuees or individuals who stole the construction materials and demolished the vacant tenements? that was also foreign funded?. Where are those construction materials now?. Was it sold? Kept in their homes? Or was there a city or barangay official involved in these theft of government property? This is a better issue for political charges, because it already happened and the city is “holding the empty bag”, and the damage has been done.

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Charges of alleged misuse of government funds in constructing tenements for non-existing evacuees or double budget allocations for a single foreign funded project but still in the planning stage is  “hypothetical” in nature. Culpability can only be established after the commission of a wrongful act. Any politician “who cry to high heavens” of alleged corruption that is still in the planning stage, is like the “boy who cried wolf” and when the real wolf appears, he was alone confronting it, because nobody believes him anymore. Sometimes and it was proven many times that “those who cried over spilled milk” are the real culprits.

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It is unfair for Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar to bear the burden on these fantastic allegations because she could not do it alone without the city council’s participation as a whole. The “Filibusters” at the city council are those who should be blamed for the city’s weakening developments and fundings, because they have their own personal agenda and divided loyalties. Some city councilors if they are indeed for the city’s interest, should not act like puppets on a string because it is anathema to public service.

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The political heat is “heating up” in all levels. We could see in Facebook, short of campaigning for votes, the pictures of Congressional candidate for District 1 Monsi dela Cruz side by side with Mayor Beng Climaco Salazar and a kicker item the name of Councilor Mel Sadain. If pictures speaks a thousand words, it goes without saying that Monsi Dela Cruz is informing the public that he is an ally of Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar and Mel Sadain is with Monsi Dela Cruz. What will happen to Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar’s vice mayoralty candidate “Itu” Iturralde? Expect that the political camp of Congressman Celso L. Loregat, will come out with his own political version. Monsi Dela Cruz is Celso L. Lobregat’s congressional opponent and Monsi did “the first blood” publicly.

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Scoop: Zamboanga City voters should distingusih “the men from the boys” or separate “the chaff from the grain” in this political exercise. To be mistaken once is forgivable but to do it twice is already a decision. Agree or disagree.