‘KUYA, LITTLE SISTER’ ( Celso, Beng rift worsens) PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:21

by Bhong Simbajon

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat said he is happy that Mayor Beng Climaco considers him as her “kuya”, but as his little sister, he asked, does she listen, respect and even defend his big brother?

Lobregat was reacting to a news report stating that Mayor Beng had told reporters in a press briefing in City Hall that when she ran for Councilor in 1998 together with Lobregat who ran for Congress, that “deep in my heart, I saw in him a kuya , a Big Brother and I will see him as such to this day.”

Reacting to her statement, Lobregat recalled several past incidents, one of which, was when the Sangguniang Panlungsod officially invited him to speak as resource person to enlighten the body on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). His councilor-critics in the Council tried to block him from making his presentation and even voted against a motion to adopt his position as that of the city.

“Did she ever voice a positive comment and lift a finger to defend me as her kuya?asked Lobregat, adding that Mayor Beng  has been seen often together with and in the company of his critics.

Another incident, Lobregat recalled, was when the issue about the devastation of PulangLupa at Patalon surfaced, and Mayor Beng came out in public blaming the previous administration (referring to his administration} for the issuance of the quarrying permits that caused the environmental destruction.

Lobregat showed documents indicating that it was Mayor Beng who issued many quarrying permits which were valid during her administration.

Also mentioned by Lobregat was Mayor Beng’s comment on the Sanitary Landfill in Salaan in which she said that the previous administration had spent millions of pesos on the project inspite, according to her, the site was not suitable.

Lobregat stressed that his administration, in pursuing the Sanitary Landfull, exercised due diligence and it even took him three terms to finally start the project.

The establishment of the proposed Sanitary Landfill was in conformity with the City’s Solid Waste Management Plan and favorably endorsed by the Sangguniang Panglungsod through Resolution No. 263 dated March 23, 2006.

Besides, Lobregat said, in the July 22, 2008 meeting at City Hall attended by Atty. Zoilo Andin, Jr.,  executive director of the National Solid Waste Commission (NSWC), and Mr. Cristopher Rey Ancheta, operations officer of the World Bank, both provided technical assistance during the process using the resource map overlay of the city as a tool in selecting the probable site considered with the least or minimum interventions and mitigating measures. Apparently, a candidate site in Salaan, it was stated, may pass largely in comparison with the others in terms of proximity to critical resource.

In that same meeting, it was concluded that there are really no sites in Zamboanga City considered as ideal, but the proposed location at Barangay Salaan has comparatively less mitigating measures.

Lobregat also mentioned that he has always respected the Liberal Party of which Mayor Beng is the head in this city and he has not made any move to entice party members to join him. On the contrary, the mayor’s group has been talking to LDP members, including elected officials, into abandoning him and joining her.

“I was not the one who started the animosity,” Lobregat stressed in a live interview over RMN .

In fact, according to Lobregat, on the day of the Zamboanga Ssege on September, 2013, he flew into town from Manila together with Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and that he chose to stay in the background and in the sideline because he believed that in a crisis situation, there should only be one voice to speak for the city and only one face to confront the public and that is the mayor.

In short, Lobregat said,  that as Mayor Beng’s kuya, he showed his support for his little sister and stood by her in difficult times and in times of crisis. – Bhong Simbajon/RMN News