Editorial: Osmeña playing to his strength-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
PLAYING to one’s strength is as good a strategy in politics as it is in war. To put this in another way, strategies in war can be applied to politics. Just ask former Cebu City mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who we reckon has taken to heart Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”
But suing Mayor Michael Rama for a “minor” transgression, if it was a transgression, like failing to get city council approval before filing a petition in court against Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s order to replace City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva doesn’t seem at first glance like Osmeña is playing to his strength.
Osmeña is not the lawyer, Rama is.
In that case filed by Rama, he successfully got Regional Trial Court Judge Douglas Marigomen to issue a temporary restraining order on Purisima’s appointment of Emma Villarete as officer-in-charge of the City Treasurer’s Office. Incidentally, this is one instance where both Osmeña and Rama played to their strengths.
Osmeña may not be a lawyer like Rama but he is the more obsessive politician. In this sense, the claim that he was the one who successfully maneuvered to have Purisima replace Oliva with Villarete can be believable. Oliva, after all, is one of Rama’s reliable aides.
Osmeña, however, may not have thought Rama would also play to his strength in his response to Purisima’s order. Getting the TRO is within Rama’s sphere of competence as a lawyer.
So was Osmeña given expert legal advice when he announced the other day that he is suing Rama for abuse of authority? Maybe he wasn’t, but the legal move would be merely secondary to his admitted political purpose, which is Rama’s suspension. The case will only be used as prop for the maneuvering that will be done at the Office of the President and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Osmeña knows that Rama’s biggest advantage against him in next year’s elections is his being the incumbent. This advantage was showcased in Rama’s State of the City Address last Monday. Suspending Rama as mayor would deprive him of this advantage.
Sue Rama, then maneuver to have “friendly” officials of concerned government agencies suspend him. That’s more like Osmeña playing to his strength as an obsessive politician. The question is, will it work?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2012.