BEHIND THE LINES
BY BOB JALDON
San Jose, CA. — Relishing a superb, incomparable approval rating even at the jaws of sometimes enigmatic decisions such as the latest traffic experimental scheme, Mayor Ma. Isabel G. Climaco-Salazar has overcome imputations and charges of causing public disorders — as in the cases of traffic and market supervision — that questions her competence to govern. Some insinuations that she has committed graft and corrupted certain influential private individuals with vested interests didn’t pull her back but, instead, pushed her in front of her critics that she has dubbed as political provocateurs. I’ve written before that the yardstick of good governance and economic furtherance is the canon to rival.
She has written a letter to El Presidente beseeching the chief executive to keep Zamboanga city out of the re-introduced proposed Bangsamoro Political Entity, or the federal Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); retention of the regional capital; and the relocation of the airport as the present one impedes the economic growth of Zamboanga. She has also asked El Presidente to sell the buildings/structures of the defunct Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook and Sangguniang Pampook at Cabatangan. For this purpose, the city has set aside funds in this year’s budget for the purchase of the buildings.
The fourth request was either intentionally forgotten or calculatedly overlooked for 13 years since the land on which these buildings stand was purchased — and promptly paid for — from the Wee Sit family by the Family Lobregat, representing the city of Zamboanga. The city went for the juggernaut, but somehow got stalled in the process for unexplained reasons. Now, those buildings are being used as military barracks. Later on, when the new ARMM is ratified, those buildings — if not yet bought by the city — will be used by the ARMM as satellite offices. The irritant — that once was the isolated haven of Marcos’s regional assemblymen — and irrelevant as they are should be procured pronto. This isn’t a desire of City Hall alone, but the apparent repudiated yearnings of more than 800,000 people wanting to be detached from the determination of a few for self-rule.
In this endeavor, Mrs. Climaco-Salazar, Mr. Lobregat and Mr. Mannix Dalipe should go on full-court press, together, and appeal to El Presidente to sell to the city the buildings on Lot 61. The legal infirmities of the proposed buyout were initially handled by Atty. Vic Solis, the same lawyer who helped forestall the transfer of the regional center. Nothing transposed for still unjustified explanation.
When the time comes for the House of Representatives to tackle the most important agenda of El Presidente’s presidency — FEDERALISM — we shall be caught AGAIN in a quagmire as there is a chance that we would be merged with the three Zamboanga provinces, Basilian, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to form one federal state or regional district. Mr. Lobregat will be huffing and puffing again to blow the house down to keep Zamboanga city out of cities and/or provinces that are part of the ARMM. (This may be the reason why he turned.)
As I’ve written before, the crux of the debate in the House to change the system of government will primarily center on taxation, term limits of politicians and the titles of the elected members of parliament.