Politics in Zamboanga is too much PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:27

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

As if politics in Zamboanga City is already a way of life and taken very, very seriously by those who have tried the agony and the ecstasy of local politics. The election is not yet over. It is scheduled for next month and the proper turnover of a new set of national and local government officials will be in July this year. Yet, in my barangay, local leaders are already forming their groups for the tentative barangay elections in October of this year. They are already forming their potential barangay officials from Chairman to seven Kagawads, this early. Some of them are already secretly campaigning by visiting their neighborhood acquaintances and spending drinks before their campaign kickoff starts. This is amazing and surprising to think that people have not yet chosen their national and city officials.

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There is truth to the belief that the “election virus” is potentially addictive. Once you have been in politics, every election period the “virus” comes alive and politicians become restless like experiencing a “withdrawal syndrome” and the only cure for the syndrome is to join politics again. This maybe the real reason as to why many politicians will not give up running for an elective post even if they lose many times until they become a “lame duck” in politics.

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One neighbor even approached Table Talk and offered me to run with his group as a barangay kagawad. He said with my former status and experience in government, Table Talk is a sure winner in Barangay San Jose Gusu. Table Talk flatly said to him “No, thanks” and I answered him, don’t be so sure my friend, politics works in many surprising ways and you can never predict your victory until the last vote is counted. Also, voters now don’t go for qualifications and experiences, they go for those who can make them happy until the election is over.

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It is understandable why many Zamboanga City voters are acting this way, because many have experienced neglect from our leaders and many voters have seen the enterprising life of some of our leaders. who joined politics penniless but after a few months in office are now seen driving around town with a new top of the line sport  utility vehicle and owning brand new homes. Except for the few local leaders who were born with a “silver spoon”, many came from humble families and they admit this reality during their campaign sorties because many of them publicly revealed in their campaign speeches, that they are poor like the many voters.

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Many political pundits and voters in Zamboanga City wish that every year is an election year because it is during election period that some voters and leaders will be able to show how smart they are and get paid for this talent. Many of these pundits, just don’t care what will happen next, because they have taken their share of politics in advance. And the cycle of misery for the people and the city starts every election period. When voters convert public service into cash and taken in advance, it nourishes and breeds corruption. Zamboanga City will never prosper even if it is led by the most saintly politician, if voters bleed our leaders dry at the very beginning. Corrupt politicians are made by corrupt voters. Politics in Zamboanga City is indeed too much to handle for a change.

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Scoop: The new and uncorrupted voters in Zamboanga city are the hope for the city’s new beginning, provided they stick to what has been taught of them in school and in the church. But, if they are too young and already too corrupt, Zamboanga City will “go to the dogs” without them knowing what happened. Agree or disagree.

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