Interdependence PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 May 2016 14:19



Los Angeles, CA. — In 33 days, re-elected Mayor Ma. Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar will deliver her second inaugural  presumably before hundreds of cheering supporters, financiers, campaign donors and city officials maybe at the Centro Latino. She’ll open her speech in Chavacano: “Muchas gracias.”

Because we are a growing city in terms of economics and population, with at least 50,000 new migrants from the south, the mayor should focus her speech on interdependence — living with a mix of people with different religions, diverse sexual orientation and multiple dialects. Unless we do something about it, Chavacano will lose its status as the first dialect in Zamboanga. The reality is we can’t divorce ourselves from each other. We’re stuck with our interdependence, like it or not.

In the three amazing years of the Salazar Regime, we witnessed a mercurial rise in our economy. There was political empowerment as there was social instability because of the 2013 bloody Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) siege. Identity politics became a norm because of political misunderstanding and differences. It was either you were Yellow or Red. Question : is that a positive or a negative gain?

Then U.S. President Bill Clinton said: “You can’t have shared prosperity and an inclusive community unless we believe our common humanity is even more important than our incredibly interesting differences.” In other words, we must embrace our interdependence.

She may speak briefly about her accomplishments the last three years, centering on her rehabilitation program for the homeless and displaced families — most of them Filipinos practicing Islam who were driven off their domiciles in Rio Hindo, Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara and Talon-Talon. In the course of her “build-back-better” battlecry, she raised the positive and reduced the negative forces in her road-map to prosperity. That is her responsibility more than her mandate, because she and us are bound to share the bounty of a bright and promising future.

Let me deviate a little. As an aside to President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte whose passion to eliminate all damn criminals engaged in illegal drugs, smuggling, graft and corruption, please note this from  Bill Clinton on restorative justice: “INSTEAD OF FIGURING OUT WHO TO PUNISH, FIGURE OUT HOW TO REPAIR THE HARM, INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON GETTING EVEN FOR THE PAST, FOCUS ON HOW WE CAN SHARE THE FUTURE. IT’S AT THE HEART OF OUR EFFORTS TO IMPROVE THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM.”

Back to our mayor. Mrs. Climaco-Salazar has started to write, unknowingly, her colorful, successful political story — living her dreams while suffering a string of disappointments and tragedies. As one politician puts it: “There are no final victories or defeats in this life. You will make mistakes and you will fail...The only thing that matters is how quick you get up and how resolutely you go on. It is not given to us to win every battle, but to fight the right fights.”

“Beng” has expanded the definition of success. Everyday, we see and hear something good coming up for Zamboanga. Life is too short. She realizes that. Giving and sharing special matters to the people, those who voted and did not vote for her, is something paramount.

And,so, in 33 days, the mayor perhaps will delve on the present and future. Everybody knows the past, even the plan to buy an expensive mobile clinic. She will present a solid, incontestable program of government that will define her fresh mandate such as heavy infrastructure, better health and education services, re-zoning the city, creating more employment, improving domestic economy and providing better internet and mobile technology.

She can do it. She’s a woman.