Unite! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 14:33

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — Reconcile, or fade into obscurity. We can never hope to be a prosperous, happy city if our leaders continue to quarrel like irresponsible toddlers. Mr. Celso L. Lobregat, Mr. Mannix Dalipe and Mrs. Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar must unite — confederate, for the sake of Zamboanguenos and migrants who have chosen Zamboanga to be their home.

William Shakespeare wrote: “Some are born great (Celso), some achieve greatness (Mannix), and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em (Beng).” Put them together and what have we got? Preponderance of greatness. These three fused together inspired by their purposive political determination to embrace their constituents will be a mitigated move to achieve absolute progress for a people long dying for it.

There are two things that should concern them — not the Zamcelco-Robinson’s deal, nor a skyway that would hang above Gov. Camins road. The issues aren’t going away unless the three-headed titans swallow hard and coalesce. After all, they’ve pledged development on the same “Covenant for Change” in 1998. The hot government property in Cabatangan and the present airport location stand in the middle of Zamboanga’s advance to progress.

Years ago, under the stewardship of the unwavering Mrs. Maria Clara Lorenzo-Lobregat, the city government purchased the lands in Cabatangan on which stand the buildings of the defunct Regional Autonomous Government lX. She had envisioned that hilly habitation that once housed the regional assemblymen and a company of marine soldiers to metamorphose into the city government center. That concept of decongestion wilted with her departure and never revived until a year ago.

While we are not part of the proposed expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, granting that the Bangsamoro Basic Law is enacted, those dilapidated buildings still serve as political irritants. Until now, we’re lucky to have a representative in the House and a fighting mayor defending our “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” We made inroads into buying the buildings years ago. As a matter of fact, Atty. Vicente R. Solis, one of three lawyers who helped stall in 1991 the transfer of the regional center to Pagadian city, handled the initial legal features of the proposed purchase.

Somehow, the negotiation for the sale ebbed, like a turtle left stranded on a beach. We could’ve gotten rid of an irritant  that up to now continues to dangle in our faces with the loathsome thought that maybe someday those buildings will be used as satellite offices of the new ARMM. Celso, Mannix and Beng should NOW, AHORA MISMO talk to Malacanang and revive the proposed purchase of the buildings.

The second “progress” issue that should have been in the government’s blueprint of BUILD, BUILD, BUILD is the airport. Before bowing out of public life,  Mr. Erbie Fabian brought the matter to the attention of then transportation secretary and defeated presidential candidate Mar Roxas. Unluckily for us, Fabian was, and still is, a member of the Nacionalista Party and Mr. Roxas was then president of the Liberal Party. Somebody obviously blocked the proposal to review a cold case.

We are all in agreement that the present airport impedes development. Celso knows it. He’s an economist. Mannix realizes it. He has been trained by the Claretians and his father. Beng recognizes it. She is highly-educated. They come from the same “Empire”, trained by the same professionals in party politics and masterfully wiggled themselves through remarkable greatness. Like Harry S. Truman, I believe in the unity of great causes.

Eddie and Lolita Chua should bring them to the table for a turkey dinner.