THE legal saga of Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno continues to hound his administration, but at least his camp can breathe for a while after the recent Supreme Court decision favored the earlier decision made by the Court of Appeals which also benefitted Moreno and his camp from being suspended in office.
But I have to admit, I have lost count as to how many cases the mayor is facing in the Ombudsman as there are still many issues being brought out even way back he was still governor of Misamis Oriental province.
Most of these cases were filed by his political opponents, and since he took the helm of mayorship since 2013, Moreno keeps on leading the city at the same time being hounded by these legal controversies.
It appears that even to the next elections, this would be used to smear Moreno's campaign for his last and third term in 2019. Unless, he will do the traditional formula of stepping down for a while, say, run for Vice-Mayor, then go back for Mayor after a term in order to extend his office.
But such attempt can be so risky, especially if the officer-in-charge to be is not as influential as compared to - say - Misamis Oriental Yevgeny "Bambi" Emano (who is rumored to run for mayor instead of his father who lost the seat for two elections already).
Since we have a slow-paced justice system, it is expected that Moreno's cases will be extended that might still stretched until the midterm elections, something that is crucial to Moreno's political career.
So much fanfare, so much legal debaucheries, in the name of public service. It is understandable that Moreno's camp is always on the defensive stance, that he needs an arsenal of people to defend his administration both on the legal and social fronts.
However his opponents are also doing the same, the existence of these cases being filed against Moreno is a manifestation that the opposition have employed people with keen eyes and skills in lynching Moreno's future political survival.
Local politics are still alive and well, although the people are more engorged in the national affairs because of a "local" president continue to wreck the psyche and foundations of what is supposed a "normal" society.
Is time Cagayan de Oro needs a dark horse? A wild card from the existing politicians?
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 13, 2017.