Nothing political, humanitarian only PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 July 2016 14:30



Barely reaching her womanhood, Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco (now Salazar) had already entrusted her future to the people known as Zamboanguenos. There was no retreat, from the time her father, Jose (Jolly), pulled her out of the convent, to her present resolute position, she has dedicated herself to the service of a people scared of their uncertain future.

Unity is an abstract word that defies exact definition. The Lobregat Empire used it to embrace a unique political strategy that put together a bunch of unknown, young idealists mixed with veteran lawyers in the name of progress and development. One of them was Beng. The other was Celso, the second child of philanthropist Mrs. Maria Clara Lorenzo-Lobregat. Those who feared, even up to now, the dominance of a disillusioned sector brainwashed by their leaders as having been socially ignored for decades by the national government have rallied behind the Lobregat Empire and their minions for protection and security. They say that great women and men are products of legends as well as facts.

And, so, the engagement of the niece of a legend began with her election to the city council for three uninterrupted terms. The rest is history.

Having been elected as vice mayor and a member of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Salazar was being talked about as the potential replacement of Celso; a potential mayor of a people always idolizing women and men of exceptional backgrounds — a political doctrine rooted in by Cesar C. Climaco and translated into action by Celso and subsequently Beng.

Political observers have advanced the opinion that if Mrs. Salazar had been a lawyer, she would have been a fierce follower of Rodrigo R. Duterte, the president for six years — the man who is shaping events according to his will. With his deep Bisayan accent, he has the rhetorical prowess of Carlos Garcia.

Beng saved this beleaguered city from the raging, blood-thirsty hands of terrorists (now being befriended by Malacanang) belonging to the rebel faction of Nur Misuari, no matter if Misuari is a fugitive of the law. September 9, 2013 was a tumultuous event  that snared the lives of many soldiers and innocent civilians. Civility and a drive to build back a better Zamboanga from the gallows of destruction and economic chaos spared this city from the Jolo Experience in the ’70s that started the Sulu Exodus to the promised land of Zamboanga. We have, thus, survived an attack on democracy and freedom from a ruthless bunch seeking independence and self-determination.

Housing the homeless Muslim brethrens is justice rendered unto them. Nothing political, humanitarian only.  No war, no matter how small and insignificantly inspired, is permanent — as no power, as was Hitler’s Germany, and no person, as was Ferdinand E. Marcos, is permanent. Only Justice, as Bacon wrote, is permanent. Mrs. Salazar denied the form of anarchy drawn by the rebels and by the verbal abuse of her detractors  clothed in blazing red. Justice for the poor had to be delivered. From those ugly reverses, we rose as we were led by a dedicated, young and vigorous woman.

Breaking tradition, her second inaugural as held at the corridors of ancient  City Hall that has been refurbished by Zamboanga’s first woman mayor — Mrs. Maria Clara L. Lobregat. Her reelection was an expression of public satisfaction of her government and the number of votes that she garnered was so convincing that the suspicion of her adversary(ies) that there would be cheating in the polls was outrightly dismissed. Her second term is a mandate filled with hope for the masses.

I can sum up her first three years in office in a memorable sentence: “WE SURVIVED THE AGONY. WE PASSED THE TEST.”

Why is Felino Santos not her speechwriter?