By Felino Santos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 28 (PNA) — This city, with 807,129 people as of the 2010 census, will have its second lady mayor when the terms of incumbent elected officials end this month.
She will be the 32nd mayor of Zamboanga from its start as a municipality during the early part of the American Regime, a chartered city during the Commonwealth, Japanese occupation, the restored Philippine Republic, as a highly urbanized city during martial law years, EDSA and the Aquino regime.
Two-term Representative of the first district of this city, Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar will assume as city mayor by noon of June 30.
She will replace outgoing three-term City Mayor Celso Lobregat, who will be assuming the position occupied by Salazar, now the new mayor.
Incidentally, Celso is the son of the first lady mayor of this city, Maria Clara Lobregat, better known nationwide as the President of the Coconut Federation of the Philippines or Cocofed during the martial law years.
The late mayor Maria Clara Lobregat actually served as congresswoman for the then lone district of Zamboanga for three terms until 1998 when she won as mayor of this city.
She served as mayor until she died near the end of her second term on January 2, 2004.
Her son, Celso, then serving as congressman, also of the then lone district of Zamboanga, then ran for mayor and won in the election of 2004.
Records show that until Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat occupied city hall, in 1998, Zamboanga City has had a succession of male mayors.
The first mayor of city when it was still a municipality in the Moro Province (Now Mindanao and Sulu) was an American named Christopher Frederick Bader.
Bader was succeeded by six other male mayors until the conversion of Zamboanga into a chartered city in 1935 during the Commonwealth Regime.
There were three appointed male mayors during the Commonwealth, a male mayor during the Japanese Occupation and 19 mayors until throughout the martial law years where then Congresswoman Maria Clara Lobregat broke this male tradition of male mayors in Zamboanga in 1998.
The new elected mayor, fondly called Beng, was a former school teacher at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
She also worked as a reporter and news anchor of Dateline Zamboanga at TV 11, an affiliate of TV-5 in this city.
She was elected city councilor for two terms and later vice mayor before she was elected Congresswomen for first district six years ago.
At 46, she is the only daughter of former Vice Mayor Jose Climaco, younger brother of Zamboanga legendary Mayor Cesar C. Climaco, who was gunned down by a still unknown assassin on Nov 14, 1984.
She is married to retired Army Gen. Trifonio Salazar, now the director of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. (PNA)