Monsi remembers Mayor Agan on his 78th birthday: ‘He gave his best shot’ PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 January 2013 14:36

The late Vitaliano Agan, the 17th mayor of ZamboangaCity, was remembered quitely yesterday in his 78th birth anniversary.

Members of his family visited his grave at a memorial park in Tumaga and offered prayer, then they left. Close friends led by servant-leader Monsi dela Cruz paused in homes for a moment of silence.

Monsi posted comments on his Facebook account, “today is the birthday of the late Mayor Vitaliano D. Agan, who  gave his best to our city and people!”

According to Monsi, through the notarized affidavit of the late Henry De Leon, it has come to their knowledge that he was used to file several cases by the incumbent mayor, a former businessman, because of a “political selfish agenda”

“May our dear birthday celebrant rest in peace and be rewarded for his goodness and love for our dear city and people,” the servant-leader said.

In the affidavit of De Leon, he said he wanted to rectify through this statement: “I was appointed to the  position of City Councilor, as representative of the industrial sector, in 1988 which I served until 1992, by then  Secretary Luis Santos of the DILG. For a brief period starting from 1995 elections the local LDP then headed by the  late Ma. Clara L. Lobregat entered into a coalition with Lakas-NUCD of Mayor Vitaliano Agan. However, after the 1995 local elections the relationship between the two groups soured which eventually lead to their split.”

“Then sometime in 1996 I was approached by the late Ma. Clara L. Lobegrat and then businessman Celso L. Lobregat to file multiple cases with the Office of the Ombudsman against their political enemy Mayor Vitaliano Agan and the rest of his allies in the City Council. The main purpose of these suits were to paint the administration of Mayor  Agan on bad light because the Lobregat’s wanted to challenge the group of the former in the 1998 local elections. It  was already planned as early as that time that Celso L. Lobregat will run for the congressional set of Zamboanga City  against the expected candidate Mayor Vitaliano Agan while then Congresswoman Ma. Clara L. Lobregat was  expected to take the mayoralty post of the City.”

“In return for filing cases against Mayor Agan and his allies, I was promised an appointment as Executive Assistant of  the late Mayor Ma. Clara L. Lobregat and the position of head of theTricycle Adjudication Board. Immediately I agreed to the said proposal. I started signing the said complaints supplied by the Lobregat’s group.

I  did not even understand most of the allegations of those complaints and until now, I do not believe the merits of any of the complaints that I signed against then Mayor Agan and councilors allied to him at that time. In fact all the cases  filed against Mayor Vitaliano Agan were dismissed by the office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan.

I am now old and sick but before I face my Creator I would like to clear my conscience and ask for forgiveness from Mayor Vitaliano Agan and some of the City Councilors under him whom I maligned by filing flimsy cases on the instigation of Celso L. Lobregat and the former Mayor. I hope they find space in their hearts to forgive me from the infractions I have committed against them; Looking back now at the history of the governance of this City, I can say that the administrations of

Mayor Vitaliano  Agan was one of the best in terms of performance, decency andsincerity. I am executing this affidavit to attest to the  declaration of the above facts. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I here under set my hand on the 6th day of December 2006  at Zamboanga City, Philippines,” De Leon ‘s affidavit stated.
Agan was born on January 27, 1935, in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte. Vit, as he is called by his friends, started his  elementary education at the Siquijor Primary School.

He later transferred to the Zamboanga Central School where he graduated with honor in 1955. He took up his secondary education at the Zamboanga City High School.

After graduation, he enrolled at the Zamboanga A.E. Colleges and finished his Associate in Arts degree in 1957.

He proceeded to take up law in the same school. In 1962, he passed the bar and became a lawyer. On November 11, 1971, Agan was elected as city councilor. This was to be his debut in politics.

On January 30, 1980, Agan was re-elected for a second term. Agan’s political career rose to a higher level when he  was appointed officer-in-charge of the City Mayor’s Office on May 28, 1987.

He assumed office on June 2, 1987, when Mayor Rini Climaco, then the appointive mayor under the Interim Revolutionary Government of Pres. Corazon Aquino, resigned to begin his campaign for congressional seat.

This was to be the turning point in Agan’s political career, giving him the opportunity to run for the mayoralty as the incumbent.

On February 2, 1988, Agan assumed as mayor. Agan’s victory at the polls would also be a watershed in Zamboanga’s political history because it was the first time a non-chavacano would be mayor.

Agan’s administration would be innovative in the sense that he would introduce programs for poverty alleviation, and  began implementing a policy of human resource development program in government.

Under his administration he made it a policy to bring education to the barangays.  It became his priority program to  construct high schools in the major barangays of the city.

Other impressive projects of Mayor Agan were the completion of the concreting of all major roads, street lighting and  traffic lights.

Agan was re-elected in 1992, and then again in 1995. Before the end of his term, Mayor Agan stepped down from office in favor of Vice-Mayor Afren Arañez to file his candidacy for a congressional seat against Celso Lobregat.

Agan lost, the first time he was to suffer defeat in his political career. He had served the people of Zamboanga for 25 years, nine months and 25 days.

Agan had served as Chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council and chairman of the Regional Development Council. He headed the local Lakas NUCD chapter and the City Reconciliation and Development Council. He became the Vice-President for the Confederation of Mindanao Leaders, the Mindanao League of Mayors of the Philippines.

Agan likewise gained for Zamboanga economic recognition nationally and internationally when he represented the city in various seminars and conferences like the Pacific Congress of municipalities held in Taiwan, and the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the BIMP-EAGA held in Brunei. He went to Germany as a DSE scholar.

Agan said he wanted the people of Zamboanga to remember him as the only orphan who became a mayor. He would always stay true to his favorite maxim, “Think global, act local for global excellence.” — HG