CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno is standing solidly behind Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) overseer lawyer Edgardo "Egay" Uy even after City Councilor Zaldy Ocon lobbied to have Uy thrown out of the city's traffic management team.
Moreno in his radio program said he understands Ocon's pronouncements but said it is difficult to replace Uy who, he said, is already an expert of the traffic situation of the city.
"Nag-istorya man mi ni Councilor Ocon, ako siyang gipasabot, nga dili baya sayon sad nga mangita ug traffic czar, especially at this time, daghan kaayong tawo sa cagayan, pila ka activities karon, walay hotel nga naay libre na space, fullybooked tanan this week, pila ka regional conferences," he said.
"So kinahanglan nato ug tarong nga traffic management, kaluoy sa Dios si Atty. Egay is a very honest man, lisod mangita ug ana nga abilidad, labihan baya kaayo ang sindikato diha sa RTA kaniadto paglingkod nako, akong tan-aw, especially karon nga kapin 3 years na diha si Atty. Egay, kabisado na niya ang tanang problema, dili sayon, its so easy to say pero ang ako lang is anugon iyang honesty, ang iyang determinasyon," Moreno said.
The word-war stemmed after Ocon supposedly slapped RTA enforcer Ric Emmanuel Agustin last December 1 following a traffic violation for which Ocon was issued a traffic citation ticket.
The slapping incident occurred inside the City Council’s session hall when Agustin, along with Uy and Engineer Nonito Oclarit, tried to confront Ocon about the traffic violation.
Ocon claimed it was not the traffic citation ticket which caught his ire but the supposed arrogance and discourtesy of Agustin when the latter approached him.
Later on, Ocon said in media interviews that he wants Uy to be replaced since the latter did not help in solving the traffic woes, and that he hired unqualified enforcers.
Moreno, however, said Ocon just issued the statement 'out of frustration'.
"Wala man hinuon nagsulti sa ako si Councilor Ocon although I heard nga iya ng gimention, pero basin bunga lang na sa frustration, kay basta gane traffic na ang istoryahan everybody complains, bisan ako, pero sige lang paningkamotan lang," he said.
"Naistorya pud nako si Atty. Egay ug Oclarit, ako sad silang gipasabot nga ang atong enforcement is to be straightforward, kay dili man sad mahimo nga mag enforce ka nga dili ka respetohan, naay dynamics gyud diha," he said.
Moreno also requests the media to stop fueling the duel and focus on other more important things, such as the traffic situation.
"Akong hangyo sa media, dili nalang sunluran, kitang tanan we are bound to lose our cool, ang importante dili na mudako, and everybody learned from that experience," Moreno added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 12, 2016.