2016 Zambo politics is dull and dry PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:05

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Two dominant and veteran politicians and scions of influential political families and coming from one political coalition but acting like opponents with their own sets of candidates and acting independently are making the local political contest in Zamboanga City dull, to the strictest sense of comparison. Only the participation of Monsi Cris Dela Cruz in the first congressional district election contest has made the 2016 Zamboanga City elections a little interesting.

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Confident that they still command the respect and popularity to Zamboanga City voters, incumbent District 1 Congressman Celso L. Lobregat and City Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar are not anymore pampering the city’s voters with all forms of political gimmicks in their campaign sorties. The happy atmosphere of their past political sorties are gone and even pundits and carpetbaggers in their political rallies have not freely expressed their participation to the fullest. They are acting cautiously, as if hiding their divided loyalties. Even their divided city council candidates are bearing the brunt of the burden in these diverse political direction. Political history is repeating in Zamboanga City, because decades ago, during the KBL era of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, he had two candidates for mayor of Zamboanga City, the late former Mayors, Maria Clara “Ma’am Caling” Lobregat and Joaquin Enriquez Jr. And the winner was the late former City Mayor Cesar C. Climaco, coming from an independent Concerned Citizens Aggrupation (CCA).

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In the national political scene, LP standard bearer Mar Roxas, presidential candidate of Congressman Lobregat and Mayor Beng Climaco, who is believed to have the fattest campaign kitty and allegedly can finance his array of candidates in the country might have a surprising twist, with the entry of Senator Grace Poe in the good graces of President S.Benigno Aquino III, who many suspects as the candidate of the President’s closest relative and well known political financier and NPC’s founding father, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco. This national suspicion of a new political twist is tying the hands of the LP candidates to campaign fully for LP standard bearer Mar Roxas so as not to antagonize chances of Senator Poe who is allegedly leading the poll surveys. This suspicion and confusion are contributing to the dull and dry political sorties of Congressman Lobregat and Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar.

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Independent candidates for the city council have a better chance of winning in this political scenario for reasons of change and choice. The bigger family clan the better for independent council candidates, if the  election will be clean as promised by the COMELEC. New faces running under the established political parties can make it to the city council if their handlers will not drop them like a “hot potato”, worse comes to worst,  to protect the winning chances of their favored candidates. Junking of candidates will come in at the last stage of the campaign, when the party finances are at its lowest.

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Scoop: Time for change is a perennial campaign slogan. We hope this message will now be effective from the presidency down to the local government units. But always remember, there is no corrupt candidate if there are no corrupt voters. A stupid candidate wins because stupid voters vote for them. Agree or disagree.