Celso: Very hard decisions will have to be made this year PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 17:13

Remembering his mother’s death eight years ago, Mayor Celso Lobregat, now on his third term in office, hinted Monday that there will be many, many hard decisions that many people will have to make this year and the year to come.

“Whatever decisions are made, let us make sure that they are not only for personal interest but for the best interest of the future of the city of Zamboanga. So whatever decisions we have to make let us ask Nuestra Sra. La Virgen del Pilar for guidance,” Lobregat said during the commemorative program marking the 8th death anniversary of the late Mayor Maria Clara L. Lobregat Monday night at Jardin Maria Clara in Pasonanca.

He recalled, when Ma’am Caling died eight years ago very hard decisions had to be made in a very short period of time as the deadline for submission of certificates of candidacy for the 2004 elections was nearing.

“Ma’am Caling died Jan. 2 about 11:40 p.m. It was Friday and everything was closed, and the deadline (for filing of certificates of candidacy) was Jan. 5. In fact the last papers she signed were her COC and acceptance of nomination. As party chairman at the time, I had to make very hard decisions,” he said, hinting the circumstances are almost similar this time (politically) that his third term (as mayor) is about to end.

“As to who will make those decisions, only time can tell. In time, everything will be in place,” Lobregat said but he did not elaborate. “Ma, please help us and guide us in our decisions.”

According to him, Ma’am Caling was everything to many people and whatever she did she would always think of the city and of the people of Zamboanga before anything else.

“In fact, Pasonanca was one of her favorite places that when she became mayor she had the two swimming pools rehabilitated and reopened, and mind you, she also imposed fees for people going to Pasonanca Park. Yet at the time nobody ever complained,” he said, adding that some people at present are just complaining without realizing that during Ma’am Caling’s time there were fees charged to go to Pasonanca Park and swimming pools, aviary and even the comfort rooms in the market.

“Little do they want to remember that many of those fees were imposed even during Ma’am Caling’s time,” the mayor said. “Unfortunately, the city’s finances were not that strong, there were many, many things she wanted to do but couldn’t do because there were no funds,” he added.

“But in the past eight years,” he said, “we were able to accomplish many, many of the dreams that Ma’am Caling had for the city.”

For his part, Councilor Rey Candido, who worked with the late mayor for many years, said “most often in life, the things we complained about are the good things in life.”

“We complain about too much work when there are many people without work; we complain about having to wake up early when there are people in comatose and never wake up; we complain about gaining weight when there are people without food to eat. And then we complain why the city government has more than P2 billion in the bank in time deposit when other local government units do not have even a single centavo in the bank. They even have to borrow money to finance their projects and of other LGUs supposed to be much richer than Zamboanga but have to borrow million of pesos just to support their dreams and aspirations,” Candido said. — Vic Larato