The prince of politics PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 12:02

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

In the late 1980s, when television was beginning to be the mode of propaganda in Zamboanga versus the reach of radio and the magic of newspapers, standing large in the horizon was a gentleman of humble beginnings. He was an anchor-reporter of the defunct First United Broadcasting Corporation (FUBC) – truthful and simple in delivery. Erico Basilio A. Fabian evolved into an inspiring politician, from a nursing vocation, spoke gently to his audience, rich or poor, and whose patrician character and soothing voice appealed to women and young voters.

Ahead of every young, aspiring politician, he declared his candidacy for councilor, vice mayor and congressman. All positions were resounding wins. After almost 20 years, though very short in funding, he employed dedication and integrity as his main plank and ran for mayor against a formidable adversary, the lady he used to serenade in political rallies and who was backed by an equally formidable political clan. That was 2013. He was passed as a weak candidate against the king of the north. That bout never came about, as King Romeo couldn’t run for public office forever as ruled by the Supreme Court.

The outcome of the fight in 2013 was apparent. Mr. Fabian had no chance of beating the lady from Santa Maria, daughter of a former vice mayor, niece of the great Cesar C. Climaco, and championed by the Lobregats. Even the press predicted that he couldn’t beat the arduous, exacting lady – Mrs. Maria Isabel Climaco-Salazar. Even though he saw defeat, this man of profound conviction dared to cross the angry waters of the Atlantic.

As early as 10:00 p.m. of May 9, 2013, Mr. Fabian saw the trend that spelled disaster. He went on to deliver his concession speech as a gentleman should. Before that defeat, Mr. Fabian displayed the qualities of an outstanding legislator, one of the well-thinking councilors we’ve had. He lost to Mrs. Salazar on one field: lack of resources. His traditional financiers and campaign donors just disappeared.

As  Mr. Celso L. Lobregat continues to blast with precision the city government leadership for her deplorable managerial style in handling local affairs such as the upkeep of Paseo (Pansut) del Mar, public works projects and political indiscretions such as the catastrophic Puericulture Center deal, Mrs. Climaco-Salazar remains unshaken by Mr. Lobregat’s rant. You see, the Lobregats are legends in this city. The family name, just like Climaco’s, is synonymous with Zamboanga. At least, that’s what hundreds of voters think.

Mr. Lobregat is angry, frustrated by the thought that the occupants of City Hall have reduced everything that he did — for nine uninterrupted years as mayor – into inconsequential endeavors: the roads that he widened; the bridges that he built; health and social programs for the voting-poor; and improvement of power service in the islands.

What of Mr. Fabian? The media love him and they urge him to run for vice mayor or congressman. If Atty. Mel Sadain becomes the congressional candidate of the PDP-Laban in the first district and Mr. Lobregat, unafraid of facing defeat, runs for mayor in 2019, I suspect that Mr. Fabian will be picked to be Mr. Lobregat’s runningmate. The second district has been reserved for Mrs. Lilia Nuño who surprising lost of Congressman Mannix Dalipe in the last election in spite her enormous resources.

The prince of politics, thus, will rise again.