As always, we lose PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 14:59

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

 

Los Angeles, CA. — On May 9, about 65-70 per cent of Filipino registered voters will troop to the polls to vote for their president and every Jane and Johnny below him/her. Not all qualified voters cast their ballot every election time. COMELEC records will prove that. No matter who gets elected, fairly or fraudulently, won’t make a darn difference to Zamboanga. Let me explain.

President Diosdado Macapagal gave Zamboanga NOTHING in the four years that he was in Malacanang. In his 20-year rule, Ferdinand E. Marcos bequeathed NOTHING to Zamboanga, except a legacy of military and police abuse, corruption and an oligarchy that benefitted his close friends and allies. Corazon C. Aquino, a housewife before her ascendancy into power, gave us back freedom and democracy. She left us NOTHING. She even took away one of our precious jewels — the capital of Region 9 and awarded it to a then 3rd class city.

Enter Fidel V. Ramos. To appease the people of Zamboanga, he decreed that Zamboanga city would be the Industrial Center of Region 9. Through a bill authored by Mrs. Maria Clara L. Lobregat, then our lone congressional representative, he signed into law the creation of the Zamboanga Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport. That came about, not by Ramos’s initiative but by the creativity and imagination of Mrs. Lobregat and her lawyer. Other than that, we got NOTHING directly from Malacanang.

Now comes ERAP with his “greatest performance of my life.” He sold the CDCP complex to the city government for a song (Dahil sa iyo). It was a Zamboangueno, Rolly Macasaet — who’s been in and out of heavy doors of millionaires in Manila — who brokered the sale. The reclaimed area is what we now see as “Paseo del Mar”. Atty. Vic R. Solis prepared the legal documents for the sale of the CDCP reclaimed area. But even before ERAP could do something great for Zamboanga, he was booted out of office.

In her 10 years as president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave NOTHING to Zamboanga. Out of utter anger for being trounced by FPJ-The King, she did not waste one minute to order the immediate transfer of the capital of Region 9 from Zamboanga to Pagadian city. She must have been so disgusted and frustrated about her showing in the polls in Zamboanga. That got her goat.

So, like her predecessors, she gave us NOTHING.

For another six years, the presumed messiah, PNoy, visited Zamboanga twice — once during the 2013 siege and once to visit the Carmelite sisters. That was it. We got NOTHING. Well, he has until the end of June to give us something. We clamored, through our beloved mayor, a loyal member of the Liberal Party, for a new airport location. Billions of pesos have recently been appropriated by Malacanang for the construction of new airports in Visayas and Mindanao. Zamboanga isn’t one of them. Otravez, NADA.

Now we are asked to elect a new president. Hijo de masalada. We have always been an opposition city. We went for Macapagal’s failed reelection bid in 1964 against the turn-coat Ferdinand E. Marcos and his solid north. In spite for the people’s love for him, Cesar C. Climaco was contra Marcos. That’s why we got nothing when Cebu and Davao were flourishing with light and heavy infrastructures that provided the avenue for aggressive private sector investment, both local and foreign.

Zamboanga existed on her own. Through the countrywide development funds of our congressional representatives and money of the city government, we built a world-class sports complex, a coliseum, installed street lights, opened new roads, provided a promenade for the middle-class and the poor, and concreted our city streets.

I have been pushing for the construction of a water-holding dam to take care of our water supply and the construction of a new airport the last 35 years. The former is being finally realized with the water projects initiated by Sen. Manny Villar and the Ayala Group. By June, our water woes shall be over — drought or no drought. That, too, isn’t a national government project. As for a new airport, I think that’s going to happen in my next life.

So friends, ladies and gentlemen, it does not really matter who becomes the next president. Duterte, if he wins, will spend his tenure going after drug lords, smugglers, thieves and all the devils in government. V.P. Binay will be working double time to replenish his “baul” with money and gold. Roxas will spend his time fulfilling his predecessor’s unfulfilled promises. Grace Poe L. will be busy searching for her lost relatives and catching up with her readings on the constitution. And, finally, Defensor-Santiago will spend most of her time in the hospital to treat her alleged lung cancer.

As always, we lose. NOTHING FOR ZAMBOANGA.