IN THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP: Fabian thinking of retirement PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 March 2012 16:42

Breaking his silence on his plans for 2013, Congressman Erbie A. Fabian (2nd District) yesterday said he is seriously contemplating on leaving politics and devote his time to his personal and family life.

In an exclusive interview, Fabian, who climbed the political ladder as a councilor, then as vice mayor, mayor and, finally, the position which he now holds, after having been a media practitioner fresh from college, said that the political landscape in Zamboanga will entirely change in the mid-term elections with the announcement of Jomar Lobregat, Mayor Celso Lobregat’s younger brother, that he is considering running for congressman in the congressional district that will be vacated by Fabian after his third and last term expires.

“By logic, this means that Mayor Lobregat will run for congressman in the first district (now occupied by Congresswoman Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar) which further indicates this early that ‘Beng’ (Climaco-Salazar) will run for mayor, the same position that I want to seek,” Fabian analyzed.

“That further means that the triumvirate will be broken,” he said.

Lobregat, Fabian and Climaco-Salazar were party-mates, having been staunch members of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) whose president is Senator Edgardo Angara. They had a common benefactress – Mra. Maria Clara L. Lobregat.

Fabian has since moved to the Nacionalista Party (NP) whose president is Senator Manuel Villar, while Climaco-Salazar is a member of the Liberal Party (LP) whose acknowledged leader is President Aquino. Lobregat remains a card-bearing member of the LDP although his brother, Jomar, formed a local political party three years ago – Adelante Zamboanga Party – of which he is the president.

“I hate to see good friends becoming mortal enemies because of politics. The three of us (referring to himself, Lobregat and Climaco-Salazar) have always worked together for the good of Zamboanga. The unity we forged years ago in the spirit of friendship and team work will be shattered because of politics. It is a covenant that cannot be ruined,” Fabian said.

It is rumored that Climaco-Salazar will skip seeking her third and last third to run for mayor on the prompting of Mayor Lobregat who is serving his last term. That will pave the way for Lobregat to run for congressman in Climaco-Salazar’s district. On the other hand, Fabian will have no other road to take but towards city hall when his third term as congressman expires. If that happens, Fabian and Climaco-Salazar will fight it out for mayor in 2013.

“I cannot accept this arrangement. I cannot sacrifice true friendship for politics. We’ve been together in so many political battles. Fighting against each other and breaking the team work and unity made so pronounced by the late Maria Clara L. Lobregat is totally unacceptable to me,” Fabian said, as he echoed the words of Mrs. Lobregat – “man hunto hunto kita para el bien de Zamboanga.”

He said that he might as well retire from politics to preserve his friendship with the Lobregats and Climacos and concentrate on his family and spiritual life.

“We signed a covenant before the people for change and development. That covenant was meant to bring about progress and security to Zamboanga. And, we did that. It should remain that way. Breaking that now will not do Zamboanga any good. One of us has to make the ultimate sacrifice,” Fabian said.

Fabian said he has consulted with his wife, relatives, friends and supporters about his political plans. “They are in agreement that this is the best possible move to preserve the dignity of a person – putting friendship above everything else. But this is not to say that I am running away from a good fight,” he said.

But things, however, might change as elections draw nearer. There is a persistent rumor that Climaco-Salazar will be offered a cabinet position by President Aquino before next year’s elections. If that happens, Fabian will be the natural choice for mayor of the local administration ticket.

“Well, if that scenario comes about, I will run for mayor,” he said, adding: “but only if that situation arises, otherwise, I will take the first option to retire.”