The importance of Emano-cipation-A A +A
Days of Disquiet
Friday, September 6, 2013
THE good thing is that no one has said it will be a smooth ride for Oscar Moreno after fifteen years of Vicente Emano at city hall.
Because we have short memories, we have to be reminded from hereon that Emano was a fascist. He dictated every management process at City Hall. He placed only his faithful lieutenants to important posts. Not only city hall but the entire Cagayan de Oro stagnated for fifteen years because only his word and imprimatur mattered.
Even the city council was reduced to a rubber stamp.
Replacing Emano is hence no walk in Gaston Park. Only two months after we had banished him, people at city hall are suddenly unsettled that his successor does not have the same fascistic tendencies. Moreno is known, to a certain extent, to even tolerate dissent within his ranks. Suddenly city hall functionaries do not know how to relate to this. They have forgotten how it is to function in a democratic work environment.
But it will take more than just this to expel, nay exorcise, Cagayan de Oro of all that is Emano about it. If a term has been coined, it must be Emano-cipation. It has always been alleged that Emano partook of the city’s coffers according to his grand political whims.
Even President Aquino’s largesse to the city post-Sendong was not spared. Only a few days ago, Emano met with all the remaining loyal barangay chiefs to prepare them for the October 28 elections. If these barangay heads have not rolled until now, you can be sure what keeps them sticking to Emano. How much was spent for convening all of them at Harbor Lights Hotel (owned by an Emano brother) to be wined and dined and all?
Emano still meets every Monday with his rubber stamp councilors, now called “clown-cilors.” How much is spent for these Monday morning breakfasts at a posh establishment? He continues to dictate affairs at city hall via his well-oiled lieutenants.
One way for Moreno to effect an honest-to-goodness purge of the city is something that must guide him in all his actions – he should never do an Emano in everything he makes a decision on. Putting only trusted lieutenants on key positions is not going to be revolutionary. Emano did that.
Moreno must listen to feedback as to who among these trusted lieutenants are corrupt. Emano never did. All these talk about putting only Balmisor – voters of Balingasag instead of Cagayan de Oro voters, must be looked into and if proven true, must be excised from practice. CdO is for CdO, not for Balingasag or for Misamis Oriental. Moreno should appoint only according to merit simply because Emano did not.
A very essential part of his governance must be transparency. Serious questions are already being raised about the perceived non-transparency of awarding garbage collection to two firms who never went through the prescribed process. If Moreno will not act in exactly the opposite way of how Emano conducted himself on the same issue that will be the end of a Hapsay CdO that the people voted him to office for.
Moreno must always remember that people did not vote him to office because of himself but because they perceived him to be the most viable candidate to effect what is the ultimate aim of that election –- change in Cagayan de Oro.
That change is still very much in people’s minds. Like it or not, it will be the yardstick by which they will judge Moreno in 2016. He thus must not be sidetracked by the fact that the enemy will always be Emano. If the people complain that they do not see any change, then that will spell the end for Moreno.
Emano can smoothly and glibly find a way to come back, cunning as he is. Moreno cannot afford to forget that.
Because CdO cannot.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 06, 2013.