Reinforcing for 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 11:04

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Regina, Canada — Today is former president Joseph Estrada’s birthday. It is also, by coincidence, the oath-taking of political careerists, professionals, businessmen, office seekers and, well, “balimbings” in Zamboanga city wishing to join the pompous caravan of the PDP-Laban, the adopted party of El Presidente.

Spearheaded by Congressman Celso Lobregat, who turned from tangerine-to-red-to-checkered and bankrolled by his campaign donors, today’s event takes the gentleman from Nunez to another political level as he uses the PDP-Laban for his journey to monumental success. Or many think so. His parents gave him the tools — values, skills and education — required for achieving political greatness. Saying that he never wore his mother’s skirt, Mr. Lobregat acknowledges, though, that it was his beloved parent who took him to political school and made him the best kid in the block.

To his credit, Mr. Lobregat has helped finance the almost dead Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) in Zamboanga long ago when priests married to their orders, when some mainstream media imparted half-truths and blabbered half-lies, lawyers weren’t stymied in court hallways discussing about politics and when women challenged their male counterparts for seats in congress and city hall. The LDP was founded in 1988 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) that counted on members like Mrs. Maria Clara L. Lobregat, Edgardo Angara, Nepali Gonzalez, Ramon Mitra, Butz Aquino and Peping  Cojuangco, Jr.

Today’s activity gives Mr. Lobregat the opportunity to recalibrate ahead of 2019. In discourses over lunch, dinner and one-for-the-road beer, there are rumors that Mr. Lobregat and his few titled friends will lit the sky with a thousand colorful fireworks as he starts his charge toward City Hall to retake the seat he once held with dauntless authority — harsh and dogmatic, bordering on authoritarianism. He still can count on his moneyed donors who owe him countless of favors.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Lobregat and his trolls, his doughty satellites, his village chiefs will be looking at ways to get back the throne. He is putting together a force to reckon with to convince those not on his side, the opposition constantly attacking him and the religious to join him when the time comes.

It is unclear what the Liberal Party, whose party chairman after World War II was banker-politician Don Pablo Lorenzo, will do. Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar and her think-tanks are working on administrative and operational concerns, particularly the monstrous traffic disorder brought about by years of inattentiveness and passivity. The fuss about this problem is not likely to end unless traffic gets better. But it won’t, we all know that.

When the PDP-Laban in Zamboanga is shaped into a fighting political machine, a confederacy of grassroots, middle-class and the wealthy, shall become an unstoppable machine. Mr. Lobregat carried the LDP flag to victory many times. That was political genius. He has cast a giant shadow over a city now jovial by a robust economy.

When the LP in Zamboanga is retooled, the woman standing in front of it will work the crowd harder than she used to and look at her organizational chart of groups that may have butterflied toward the PDP-Laban and regroup her loyal forces, wealthy donors and, of course, the BLGT.

The outcome in 2019 will separate the legend from the genuine.