Gone soon, unless PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 April 2016 14:14

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — Soon it will be watered down, as a matter of speaking. Gone. Most people in Zamboanga don’t take the drought seriously because, to them, the rains will come sooner than prayed for. At first, water was rationed for seven hours daily. Now, it’s every other day. Soon, it’ll be every two days, and so on, until Mother Nature has mercy on us. Edgar Banos must be having sleepless nights drawing up alibis for the press.

The water district does not say it because the public isn’t asking, but how much has the drought cost it since the harsh water rationing schedule was implemented? Millions of pesos! It has cost the agricultural sector millions more in terms of devastated crop lands and seasonal and part time jobs lost.

A month ago, the alarmed water firm has put into effect extreme emergency water-use restrictions since the dry season began. I don’t know if it has curbed lawn watering and other outdoor uses (it should) as in the case of California where a $500 is imposed for lawn watering.

The city government, in coordination with the water district and private companies that have engaged in water reservation and supply, is overseeing the emergency situation. Pretty soon, hopefully, the water district will find a suitable way out of this miserable crisis and take giant steps to stop the next drought from devastating the city.

If the rains don’t come in either May or early June, we’re in for hell. In Canelar, my cousins complain that not only is there very low water pressure on water hours, the water is murky. “Dehalo ya lang, basta tiene agua.” If Pagasa is wrong and the rains do make it on time as predicted, the water district will impose more serious restrictions. That’s the time to move to Ipil.

And what about our protected forests in upper Pasonanca? Who’s guarding it right now from forest fires similar to the one that has engulfed 300 hectares of Mt. Apo? God forbid, but the water district should take measures now because a small spark can trigger a conflagration greater than we’ve ever seen.

So much for water.

This is true. Often the most humiliating questions are the ones that don’t get asked by the media. Hankering politicians hire their own scrawlers to attack their rivals for perceived scandals, for example, to bomb away their aspirations. It has started two weeks ago and counting.

As in the cases of Ramos v Climaco-Salazar and Abubakar v Climaco-Salazar, the complainants were obviously provided with the data presented in a systematic manner, with detailed narration and dates (wow) to pin down the respondent to show that her government is not as clean and honest as pictured to be.

Unfortunately for the mayor, she has become the popular target by mischievous political adversaries who were once upon a good time her friends and allies. What’s uncompromising is that her teammates in the YELLOW ARMY don’t seem to counter the charges, as they are probably afraid of the wrath of the Lobregat Empire. The denunciatory attacks on the person of Mrs. Ma. Isabel G. Climaco-Salazar is an obvious overt move to destroy her reputation and her administration. May I ask: to whose favor? Does it pay to be a grouch?

I don’t know how former mayor, vice mayor, councilor, congressman Erbie Fabian looks at the situation. Two living mayors have openly endorsed the candidacy of reelectionist Celso L. Lobregat. I have a gut feeling they will also openly announce their vote for the incumbent mayor.

But Erbie has been SELENCIO. He probably sees the attack on City Hall as a minor road bump to Mrs. Climaco-Salazar’s quest for reelection. Clearly, unless strange and unexplainable things happen, BENG will win. CELSO will win. LILIA will also win. There’s no argument about that.

Erbie is still surrounded by his cheerful and loyal friends who enjoy their SanMig while debating politics every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the famous Hanazono. I’m sure they’re missing Gerky Beef.

This local election is not about personalities or slogans. It is about substance and accomplishments; honesty and dedication. The mega-donors come next, more specifically during the last seven days of the campaign. Like I said, the outcome of the polls isn’t hard to predict. All incumbents will win. You won’t need a hacker. You can take that to the bank.