ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/19 May) – House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, now mayor-elect of this city, said the worsening power situation and peace and order will be among her priorities when she assumes the mayoralty post on June 30.
Salazar, who is this city’s two-term first district representative to Congress, made the announcement, emphasizing that she will personally manage the affairs of the city government in the next three years.
Salazar’s statement was in reaction to an election issue that she will merely serve as “puppet” of her predecessor, Mayor Celso Lobregat.
“I would like to make it clear that having been given an overwhelming mandate to serve the people, I will manage the city according to my own conviction,” she declared.
The mayor-elect is a niece of the feisty anti-Marcos dictatorship mayor, Cesar Cortes Cimaco, who was assassinated on November 14, 1984.
Her father, Jose, was elected vice mayor in 1987.
Salazar, a Liberal Party (LP) stalwart, said she would use her “Malacañang connection” to push the Department of Energy (DoE) to find reliable solution to the worsening power situation hitting this city.
This city experienced eight to nine hours daily rotational brownouts months before Monday’s election and enjoyed 24-hour electricity from May 11 or two days before the May 13 polls, until Thursday, May 16.
However, Sherwin Mañada, acting general manager of Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) , issued a notice on Friday that this city will again experience rotational brownout lasting three to four hours daily.
Salazar also said she will sit down together with top police as well as military officials in finding a lasting solution to this city’s peace and order problem.
She is not also discounting the possibility of her seeking advice from her husband, retired Army general Trifonio Salazar , current head of the National Intelligence Coordination Agency, on matters of solving problems on criminality.
Salazar will replace Mayor Celso Lobregat, who is completing his third term and has been elected first district representative, a post he is returning to after his nine-year mayoralty.
Lobregat was representative from 1998 to 2004, after his mother’s 1987 to 1998 stay in Congress. He was supposed to run for a third term in 2004 but substituted for her mother in the mayoralty race in 2004 when the latter died.
Salazar won the mayoralty race by huge margin over her former party mate, second district Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian, garnering 172,439 votes against Fabian’s 29,200 votes.
Both Salazar and Lobregat ran under the Liberal Party-Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Adelante Zamboanga Party (LP-LDP-AZaP) coalition while Fabian, a Nacionalista Party (NP) stalwart and on his last term of office, ran under the Fuerza Zamboanga, a locally-organized political party he heads.
Lobregat’s brother Jomar lost in the congressional race for the second district to independent bet Lillia Nuño. (MindaNews)