Zamboanga after Cesar PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 12:19

BEHIND  THE  LINES

He fought a despot, ran for public office multiple times (losing thrice for senator), serve this country in various capacity ( commissioner of Customs and chairman of the Presidential Assistance for Community Development) and died a martyr. In a nutshell, Cesar C. Climaco lived and died as he was destined to be — a great man.

The chaotic, violent years of the Marcos dictatorship had disastrous effects on the people’s outlook of democracy that resulted to the deterioration of morality. During those years, Mr. Climaco’s fight for liberty, justice and equality was pygmied by the Marcos propaganda machinery. Slogans like “Green Revolution” and “Masagana 99” took center stage. The people who despised the military rule looked back to the past instead of to the future with nostalgia and groaned. Mr. Climaco took a shorter route on what to love and what to hate and always matched his words with sterling deeds.

He was so devoted to serving the public that he often neglected his family. With absolute selflessness, he served Zamboanga like a pope, thereby setting a good example for all to follow, no matter their religion or creed. The younger breed of politicians should learn from him.

As no normal human being would endeavor, Triple C assembled the best engineering minds, and from his imagined architectural designs, constructed the Pasonanca swimming pools. He developed a mini-zoo and wildlife which became the children’s delight. During his second coming, he built the “Via Cruces” and the Abong-Abong Freedom Park and dedicated it to the assassinated Ninoy Aquino. In cooperation with the Zamboanga Press Club then under the presidency of the late Max Enriquez, Jr., he constructed the Nino Aquino Memorial building. He would have transferred the airport o Mercedes in 1981, but that grandiose plan was cut by an assassin’s bullet. If fate did not hunt him down, we would better off than Davao.

Cesar made amends with his enemies. He rounded up his political opponents like Hector Suarez, Rustico Varela and Tiago Pantaleon, to name a few, believing that friendship and reconciliation are the key to progress. He wanted to build a strong and powerful Zamboanga that he surrounded himself the best minds to help him realize that goal. Interdependency propels a city to move forward. He planted the tree that would bear the fruits of our guiding ideology for action for a long time to come.

Where are we now? Aside from a refurbished airport terminal, an expanding seaport, Paseo del Mar, widened R.T. Lim boulevard, rotten roads, poor drainage system, a dismal housing project for the poor and displaced migrants, KCC mall, unfinished, substandard light infrastructure projects, demoralizing law and order conditions, annoying traffic, and Chinese merchants engaged in illegal activities, WHAT DO WE HAVE?

Did our leaders accomplish the tasks he had left unfinished like having a new airport, better drainage system and improved law and order conditions? The Cesar C. Climaco Thought was never harnessed. What a pity.