Chasing Celso PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 April 2016 14:19



San Jose, CA. — From what I’ve heard (it’s utterly unbelievable), 90 percent of the Rojo Team candidates will fall like dry autumn leaves on May 9. It will be an infinite misfortune probably borne out of anger and discontent — if the averment is true. How loudly the critics of the Lobregat Empire assert their poppycock prediction on the outcome of the election gauges the assiduous campaign of once padre’ Crisanto “Monsi” dela Cruz to rattle like a tremor the intrepid and bold offensive of the Rojos. C’mon gents, this isn’t a desert campaign — although Zamboanga is threatened at being one with the lack of potable water — won with tanks and armored vehicles. This is a “war” that is won by character and accomplishments, not about someone to be and somethings to be done.

Yes, I conversed with Monsi on New Year’s Eve and he was exhibiting confidence about an overwhelming victory against his tormentor in two previous elections. He claimed then to have at least 30 barrio captains with him, including their councilmen. That was January 1.

I mean, it simply defies all norms of persuasive politics as is the central part of the Lobregat Empire’s government. I don’t think the Rojos and Rosas will get a brutal vote from Zamboanguenos, natural born or naturalized. Mr. Lobregat’s position as congressman is not, and never will be, in peril. Ninety-five percent of the voters approve of his job performance, a rating that cannot be approximated by any of his rivals — because of his fervent and impassioned objection to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law in its proposed substance and the big NO to being a part of the outcome of the BBL.

So, the rumors can’t be true — that the Rojos will get humiliatingly clobbered by the multi-faceted party of his principal and bitter contender. Restaurant customers must be hallucinating, as to wander in thought and speech, about the death of the Lobregat Empire. Their argument is inconsistent with syllogistic reasoning, almost like a mental derangement.

Don’t get me wrong. Monsi, years before the people surrounding him now, is a good friend of mine. My family and I wish him well. I dream the day that he’d beat Mr. Lobregat to the tape and make him (Lobregat) look like an ideological wimp. But I don’t see that happening, at least for now. I was the first journalist that he invoked his intentions to run for public office. I know his aspirations, his dreams of transforming Zamboanga into a mega city, comparable to Cebu.

But right now, Mr. Lobregat has become more recognized in congress, although he is with the minority, and more loved where it matters: in his home city. Credit Monsi for fighting the toughest fight and taking on the hardest issues facing the city: drugs and law and order. He spearheaded the move to stop the transfer of the then Southern Command to Pagadian city. Together with the Lobregats, he vigorously opposed making Zamboanga a part of the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development, a body that was formed as an offshoot of the 1996 peace agreement that the government and the Moro National Liberation Front inked. Surely, he should be one our men.

But, not yet. Monsi and his glimmering election captains will have to look beyond 2016 and prepare better for 2019 when Mr. Lobregat shall have passed 70 years old with a more depilated head worthy of a bandana. As I am mystified at how most of our city officials, past and present, got elected, I can’t see how Mr. Lobregat (never mind his underlings) can ever lose. Not at this time, unless something mystical and magical happens. Maybe, Monsi has a hidden weapon. Who knows?

In like manner, after putting her in-charge of City Hall, there’s no way that the present leadership would be changed because of her agenda of economic advancement. Zamboanga has been literally peppered with bullets and grenade splinters to serve as a reminder to Mayor Climaco-Salazar that battling lawless elements is also a priority agenda. People hold her in high regard, as they would Mr. Lobregat and his worthy opponent, Monsi, because she fulfills her election promises.

The only regret to bear is: why do Mr. Lobregat and his lackeys continue to slam the mayor in their sorties when they are not at odds for the same position? Is it true that the wretched have no compassion? Lobregat and Climaco-Salazar must coagulate, federate — for their superior combination will spell DEVELOPMENT, GROWTH, PROSPERITY. Their separation could only mean DISASTER, for that is what disharmony brings to pass.

In parting, let me just say, although highly improbable, that Mr. Lobregat, Mrs. Climaco-Salazar, Monsi, Junie Climaco, Mrs. Lilia Nuno, Mannix Dalipe and Erbie Fabian should join hands to hold the fort that is under threat of invasion by outside forces. Stick that in your heads, ladies and gentlemen.