City Council — equal in voting strength, time to heal PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 May 2016 13:37

BY Mike S Apostol

The first City Council session after the election last Tuesday revealed a new development for the interest of the city and for a smooth governance. The two political factions that were always at odds in crucial matters for decision and votes for approval, are now equal in number. Coincidental or not, but the outcome of the latest people’s choice was providential. The city government has to move on, or else, it will one day go down in the city’s political history as a tragedy because of political honor and pride.

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The fact is both political factions from the very beginning came from one political stable and the only reason why their bond was broken,was when the urge for the city’s political supremacy overtook the sensitivity of the city’s political leaders. Out of pride, no one gave in for personal and future reasons until the wedge of distrust grew deeper, giving enough reason for a political separation.

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Two of the political players of the city, like reelected Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar and District 1 reelected Congressman Celso L. Lobregat, who both fielded complete slates for the city’s elective positions, slugged it out fiercely in rhetorics, accusing each other of anomalies and incompetence to a point of “mud slinging” and “character assassination”. But it gave the city’s voters a wide array of choices. The result was both camps suffered casualties, when some of their candidates were eliminated or lost the election. But, the election result was providential. It resulted in a balance number of voting force at the city council, which was the main reason of the political break-up due to an unbalance number of votes. Although, incumbent Mayor Beng still retains the leadership of the city council, her Vice-Mayor won even if Congressman Lobregat controls the sectoral representatives.

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Time to heal the election wounds and move on for the city’s progress. Mayor Beng has extended her hands of reconciliation to Congressman Lobregat as a genuine gesture of change. The ball is now in the court of Congressman Celso L. Lobregat to accept or not or continue a belligerent political relation in the city of Zamboanga.

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Listening to the early morning interview yesterday over Tatak RMN with Bhong Simbajon’s radio program, Congressman Lobregat said although it is hard to forget some of those allegations during the local campaign hurled against him, he is willing to sit down with Mayor Beng. This is indeed a positive development for the city of Zamboanga. Table Talk’s hope that it will happen soon before the new elected officials will be sworn into office. It is always nice to start it right.

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Today, all roads are lead to Davao City, home of the elected President of the Republic, Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Big names in politics and business are all there in Davao City waiting for many hours just to have an audience with President Duterte. It is perhaps advisable if Mayor Beng join the queue to see the President. It is best to see him now while still in Davao City, rather wait when the new president is in the Palace. It is very difficult to have an audience with the President, you have to pass the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) for an appointment which take weeks to happen. Just a suggestion.

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Scoop: Zamboanga City needs a united stand by all city officials and congress representatives of both districts to push through with its development agenda. And we still need the national government to hasten our development programs, unless we wait for the Federal Government of Zamboanga to happen, which is still in the drawing board. Agree or disagree.