Houston: ‘Beng’ has a problem PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 11:38

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — On September 9, Zamboanga will be commemorating the “death of a dream” — the bloody siege begetted by a bunch of ruthless terrorists. The spectral atmosphere that the raiders created for three weeks was unforgettable as four barangays were swept into uncertainty, bringing hapless civilians to their knees and plunging Zamboanga into obscurity yet once more.

We have since honored the soldiers who died in the rain of bullets defending not only Zamboanga but the flag and country against a blood-thirsty group seeking independence from the republic. We also prayed for the innocent civilians who were killed in the crossfire.

A memorial should be built for those who died in that aggression that erased the spectacular rise of Zamboanga from the jaws of an enigmatic future brought about by the series of violent incidents dating back 1972.

We slowly built our city from the ruins of incessant violence that claimed the lives of dozens of innocent civilians, including women and children, at the height of Martial Law and even beyond. Zamboanga was a lost star trying to regain its brightness as a highly-urbanized city — just as Davao tried to do, and succeeded, in bringing back its atmosphere of security while fighting the New People’s Army.

City administrations changed hands as we moved to achieve recognition as a safe haven for everybody, not as a city of bombs and bullets as slain Mayor Cesar C. Climaco described Zamboanga. But even as we walled up our city against criminals and terrorists we couldn’t achieve our goals because the devil’s brigade kept on advancing their evil deeds to destroy all the good that we were doing.

What happened at Roxas street in Davao city was just a speck of dust to what we experienced in the past. As a police reporter, I’ve seen body parts severed from bodies and scattered all over like meat baits after a brutal grenade attack. Movie houses, department stores and churches have been bombed with impunity by the forces of evil.

I, too, saw the victims of assassinations, their heads blown off by a .45 caliber pistol, or bodies riddled with armalite bullets. Still, we fought for our liberties even as we struggled in times of unrest and violence. We prayed to Our Lady of the Pillar, El Señora la Virgen del Pilar, for peace and lit candles for those who indefensibly perished in an internal “war” that seems without end.

Zamboanga, no matter the sense of security inculcated in the minds of her people by our leaders, will always live in the long shadows of the Marcos regime’s violent conflicts. But we should never surrender our conviction that we can, together, defeat terrorism. We must be realistic, not defeatist.

El Presidente has taken, as all former presidents should have done, a solution to the Abu Sayyaf problem in an intrinsically bloody route that is expected to end this barbaric movement once and for all. The military and police have no choice but to muddle through to end this evil force.

Aha, erstwhile indigenous People’s representative in the city council of Zamboanga Ismael Musa has filed an election complaint against Mayor Isabel “Beng” Climaco-Salazar alleging that the lady local chief executive spent more than the allowed election campaign expenditure as provided for under the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).

Based on the figures released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Zamboanga has a total of 412,795 registered voters. Multiply that number with P3.00 which a candidate is allowed to spend per registered voter, that will give you P1,238,385.

Musa alleged that the mayor’s Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) reflected a total expenditure of P1,319,389.22, which is P81,004.22 in excess of what the law allows.

If, indeed, Mayor Climaco-Salazar overspent, as figured don’t lie, then she has a problem, a big indisputable legal problem. She should fire her lawyers and accountants.

Houston: ‘Beng’ has a problem.