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Sunday, 24 April 2016 15:13

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — I’m constantly connected to Zamboanga because of the on-line stories from this newspaper. Plus, I get some info from certain sources peeved about the erratic power and lack of water. They also tell me how nasty the local campaign has become as certain candidates are using rude language against certain candidates wishing to land in the win column. And, their common target is the lady mayor. It looks to me like there isn’t anything that the Red Team hasn’t yet said about how Wonder Woman has poorly managed the city and her dictatorial tendencies towards administering public works projects.

For some still unexplained reasons, “Team Colorao” has been after the mayor’s head since Day One of the campaign. I don’t know how the mayor is taking the dirt thrown at her by her “kuya” and former friends and allies. She has to bear a thick skin to blunt those negative rhetoric and ugly attacks on her person.

The candidate who gets Sta. Maria, Pasonanca, Tumaga, Tetuan, Baliwasan and Canelar-Camino Nuevo by a wide margin gets to win on May 9. Because of the negative poundings she has been getting from the Rojos, none of which seems to be working (according to my sources), the mayor and her “Team Amarillo” has been raking in more sympathy votes. You can’t disrespect a lady and come out a hero. The opposition tried that with the beloved Mrs. Maria Clara Lorenzo-Lobregat. They miserably failed. I will not mention who her detractors were for some of them are now with Team Colorao.

If “unity and continuity” is the slogan of the Rojos, then they should adhere to the statement of then assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy: “We need a uniter, not a divider.” The mayor, though not exactly a friend of the media, has demonstrated that she isn’t a politician. She simply cannot connect with the media like Rep. Celso L. Lobregat and former, not ex-politician, Erbie Fabian. She is confident that she has a built-in media bureau competent enough to chronicle her daily activities — the same media bureau that detailed Mr. Lobregat’s sorties and pronouncements “desde limpapa hasta Licomo.”

The Rojos have unleashed a flurry of accusations against the present city administration enough to put the mayor on bended knees. To what end, may I ask?  We cannot start a new administration on July 1 with a divided legislature and an apathetic executive branch.

As I admire the mayor for not spilling the beans on her predecessor as to how he manipulated the use of the Intelligence Fund whose most likely beneficiaries were the police, the IDC, city councillors and some heads of office, it will be good for her to answer the legitimate charges hurled against her by the Rojos to clear her good self.

I am pretty certain that as things now stand, she will get re-elected, even as some people have suggested that surging presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte raise the hand of her chief rival, retired police General Mario Yanga, on May 2, the day that Digong and his caravan storm the heart of Zamboanga.

As I have always written, unless a miracle happens on the day of the election, re-electionist Rep. Lobregat will get an extended term of three years. Some quarters say that former padre, Monsi dela Cruz, is catching up fast and furiously. I hope he doesn’t run out of gas in the homestretch as what happened to his campaign three years ago.

I cannot speak of re-electionist Rep. Lilia Nuno for I don’t belong to her district. One of the Amarillos has accused her of being a sympathizer of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after she attended a state function in Kuala Lumpur to witness the signing of the peace package between the government and the MILF. She has since accused her critics of political bigotry.

There’s one real issue that Mrs. Lilia should bring out publicly. Silently, with the help of her legal counsel, she has been working for the purchase of the Cabatangan properties (buildings) still owned by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). While the city has purchased the lands on which these buildings are standing long ago by former Mayor Maria Clara L. Lobregat, the negotiation for the purchase the properties was put on hold for reasons known only to her immediate successors. Those buildings are irritants, edifices that constantly remind us of the Cabatangan Siege and raise fears that the new ARMM might use the buildings as its satellite offices, a political set-up that we continue to reject.

There are 14 days left before voters troop to the polls. Who will be our next president? The last 10 days of the campaign will witness how politicians will buy an election. The ban on campaign expenses cannot be carried out the COMELEC, that’s for sure, allowing billionaires to spend for their chosen candidates. So far, money has not been working. Duterte is leading in the surveys.