Head-on contest looms between 2 former allies for Zambo mayor PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:52

A head-on electoral contest is looming between two former political allies — Congresspersons Beng Climaco-Salazar and Erbie A. Fabian —  after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in an en banc resolution disqualified one of the “heavy contenders”, Romeo Jalosjos.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Comelec en banc, promulgated a resolution disqualifying former Zamboanga del Norte first district Rep. Romeo Jalosjos as a candidate for mayor in this city.

Rep. Climaco-Salazar and Rep. Fabian are considered as the two heavy contenders among the three remaining qualified candidates for mayor.

The third candidate for mayor is businessman Albert Cajayon, who is running as an independent candidate.

Salazar is the standard bearer of the Liberal Party-Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Adelante Zamboanga Party (LP-LDP-AZaP) coalition while Fabian is the mayoralty bet of Nacionalista Party-Fuerza Zamboanga (NP-FZ) coalition.

Salazar and Fabian are the local chairmen of LP and NP, respectively, while AZaP and Fuerza Zamboanga are locally organized political parties.

In disqualifying Jalosjos, the Comelec en banc cited that the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 62 of Makati City for statutory rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, which carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification.

Salazar and Fabian are former allies and they were part of the so-called political triumvirate together with Mayor Celso Lobregat.

The triumvirate started to break up when Salazar joined the LP while Fabian joined the NP during the last presidential elections, followed by the entry of Jomar Lobregat, the mayor’s younger brother into the local political contest.

The mayor’s brother is running for representative in the second district under the LP-LDP-AZaP coalition while the mayor, who was on his last term of office, is the party’s candidate for representative in the first district.

Before the entry of the younger Lobregat, political observers here thought that the mayor and Fabian will just switch positions as they are both on their last term of office while Salazar, who still has one remaining term of office, will remain in the first district.