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Celso: Acquisition of Cabatangan properties not because of Beng


Congressman Celso Lobregat yesterday expressed amusement on a news story distributed by City Hall to the local media claiming that the decision of the National Government to acquire the Cabatangan properties was due to the pleadings of Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco– Salazar on President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a press conference at his Nuñez residence, Lobregat said he is amused by the City Hall press release where Climaco claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte has finally acceded to her “consistent pleadings” to buy the more or less 70-hectare land in Barangay Cabatangan from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Recall, on June 8, 2018, this paper published a City Hall press release entitled, “Climaco: Nat’l gov’t  to buy Cabatangan.”

The first paragraph of the said press release written by Mr. Vic Larato, an employee of the City Mayor’s Office states, “Mayor Beng Climaco was visibly elated to announce yesterday that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) has finally acceded to her consistent pleadings for the national government to purchase the properties, measuring 619,606 kilometers or 71.96 hectares, of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) situated in Barangay Cabatangan, this city.”

Lobregat said that if indeed Climaco truly pushed for the acquisition of the Cabatangan properties, then it should have happened during the time of President Noynoy Aquino, a party mate of Climaco in the Liberal Party (LP), when the Mayor was then deputy speaker in Congress and was very close to Aquino.

“I am not trying to get the credit but is it not Celso who brought this issue all the way up to the plenary?” he asked.

Lobregat said the mayor is employing the Nazi tactics that “Lies told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

“Give credit to where credit is due, and please do not mislead the people,” Lobregatsaid.

The solon said that if Sec. Delfin Lorenzana indeed contacted Climaco, it was merely to ask for the details of the Cabatangan properties and not because of her alleged “persistent pleadings”.

Lobregat clarified that he is not after any recognition, but that he just wants to put all information in the proper perspective for the people to really understand the real truth.

Lobregat said it was during his meeting with Lorenzana and other defense officials when they recognized the importance of the Cabatangan properties and when the defense officials decided to use the area as a military camp. He added that he also discussed the same matter in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and that the President said that “if the military needs the area, so be it.”

According to Lobregat, the final venue of his fight to protect the interest of Zamboanga City was not in Congress but in the Bicameral Conference Committee where he was appointed to be a member of the House contingent that will draft the final version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) along with a contingent from the Senate.

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