Celso for Mayor? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 September 2018 16:04



Definitely! At least that’s how his rah-rah boys and girls are chanting whenever they get the chance. Toward the end of this month (a September to remember), Mr. Celso L. Lobregat will officially announce, daw, is candidacy for mayor. He has clearly made up his mind, daw, according to an unimpeachable source who used to be a close ally of the Nuñez lad. He would have dashed for City Hall in 2016, but the surveys then were not convincing enough for him to dislodge the sitting Mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar. With all the negativities erupting like a fearful volcano around the office of the mayor — may be because of official negligence that borders on dereliction of duty — CLL may have a chance at a big comeback.

I still propose a reconciliation between the two  colossal politicians. Politicians have until October 17 to decide whether or not to continue with their mandate or retire from politics and live a mellow and noble life from the temperate, harsh world of governmental science. In this proposed independent, highly-urbanized federal city of Zamboanga, these two most powerful figures should reflect hard based on what is practical, sensible and beneficial for their constituents — not something that’s anchored on greed, lust for power or egoistic attitude.

The point is: Zamboangueños and migrants from the three Zamboanga Peninsula provinces and Basilenos who have made this city their home should protect this land from encroachment by moneyed, powerful and well-armed individuals. Divided, we crush into obliviousness. Mr. Lobregat and Mrs. Salazar should bury the hatchet and built-up hatred for each other before the situation becomes utterly chaotic.

Nevertheless, the die looks cast. No one will give in, not even with the mediation (a word that I shall tackle extensively with awesome shock next week) of the Chuas, the Chinese-Filipinos or barangay capitans. In a close contest, the incumbent has a nose’s edge. But in politics, the mice can never beat a cat (gato viejo). This cat looks different, walks with an ROTC cadence and could be mistaken at first glance to be a Spaniard. This man of undying loyalty to Zamboanga — although he wasn’t born here, raised or educated here — has left his heart here and has become a prisoner to dedication and devotion to public service.

Everybody knows by now that he is a product of De la Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University and Asian Institute of Management (AIM). He holds a degree in economics. He was a football player in high school, a basketbolista in college and a horticulturist. He was born with a destiny to fulfill. His marital life is not transparently decipherable. But in Philippine politics, voters don’t care much whether you have two, three, four or five wives or two, three, four, five mistresses. Immorality has become a norm not disqualification.

I worked with him for 13 years. Believe me when I tell you that his admiration for everything Zamboangueño is not a mere front to impress the voters. He learned to speak Chavacano by himself. His humility has never been predicated on his higher educational standards but a characteristic of a man aware of his talent. That has enabled him to leap into significance. The Jolly Green Brothers and the modest Jesuits taught him well — well enough to prevent him from being an atheist.

These are extraordinary times, and we need people with extraordinary talents. I still maintain that this two extraordinary people, Celso and Beng, should COME TOGETHER and heed what John F. Kennedy said: “Unless there is the most intimate association between those who look to the far horizons and those who deal with our daily problems, then...we shall not pass through those stormy times with success.”