Fathers of Banawa-Englis, SRP-A A +A
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
THERE is no question about Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s competence or doubts about her integrity. She is brilliant, upright and fiercely independent. She was appointed to her first high public office by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but she did not become her stooge. Thus, when she says that she will not be beholden to President Noynoy Aquino, I believe her.
But the idea of her as chief justice of the Supreme Court remains unappealing. She is too identified with Aquino to be able to escape the public perception that she will remain loyal to him to the very end. This was the millstone that hung on former chief justice Renato Corona’s neck on the day that he accepted his midnight appointment.
The impeachment of Corona has heightened public expectations of the new chief justice.
They want someone who will not only give the Supreme Court a fresh start but who is also capable of making a fresh start himself. We cannot afford to have someone, who is hampered by even the slightest suspicion of partiality, lead the court.
De Lima cannot be faulted for harboring ambitions of becoming the chief justice of the Republic. But it would have been a wiser decision if she declined her nomination.
Because she did not, it is now up to her boss to do the right thing: appoint someone who is not only independent but is believed by the public to be independent.
If it is de Lima’s destiny to become chief justice, let it happen at some other time, not under this administration.
Former Cebu City south district Rep. Tony Cuenco recently called to drum up interest in the plebiscite on the law carving a portion of Guadalupe to become the new barangay Banawa-Englis. Cuenco favors the creation of a new barangay, which its advocates claim, would result in better services to both local government units since there would now be two, instead of one, set of barangay officials looking after the needs of the residents.
If, as widely believed, the law passes, Cuenco will be remembered in history as the father of Banawa-Englis. It will be an honor that he richly deserves just as his successor in Congress deserves the title of being the father of the South Road Properties (SRP).
There are many people, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama for one, who are uncomfortable with Tommy Osmeña’s description of the SRP as his “baby.” The claim may be self-serving but it is not far from the truth.
The idea of reclaiming the seas off the city’s southern corridor may have been conceived long before Tommy even dreamed of becoming city mayor but the undeniable fact is that it was he who relentlessly pursued it, bringing together various stakeholders and making them believe that it can be done. You can’t blame Tommy for watching over the SRP like a hawk because he sired and mothered it.
Of course, Mike would rather that Tommy stops acting like he owns the SRP. He wants to dispose of the unsold portions of the property but the city council would not let him because Tommy does not like it.
Not selling now is a marketing strategy, Tommy says. No, it is politicking, counters Mike. The 2013 elections could very well be the referendum on who is right.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 04, 2012.