Editorial: City council as bully-A A +A
Friday, July 20, 2012
CHINA'S bluster crested recently when it sent a big fleet of 30 fishing vessels to the disputed Spratly Islands for ten days of fishing, which means they are solely exploiting the territory’s maritime resource.
China didn’t need that show of force because the world knows how helpless other claimants to the Spratly Islands and neighboring territories are considering the Chinese’s superior armed force. But China flaunted its advantage, nevertheless, like bullies usually do.
Which, to a certain degree, is what the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK)-controlled Cebu City Council did recently when it passed an ordinance prohibiting Mayor Michael Rama from selling or negotiating the sale of South Road Properties (SRP) lots without council approval.
The council didn’t have to pass the ordinance because its nod is always needed in such an important transaction as disposal of government property. Still, the councilors chose to flaunt their control of the SRP, acting like bullies sticking it to a defiant Rama.
The ordinance does not change the fact that as long as the council is controlled by former mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, Rama can never touch the SRP lots. More so now when the elections will be held less than a year away and Rama’s first term is ending.
That also makes the mayor’s protestations re: passage of the ordinance sound like mere dramatics. He knows that even without the measure, and considering the holding of the elections next year, he could not possibly make a pitch for SRP lots credible enough for investors to come in.
In this sense, one can say that the schemes of BOPK and Osmeña succeeded. But this has also provided city residents with another proof that having an opposition-dominated council is not good considering the nature of our politicians. They can’t be constructive in their approach.
This could convince the voters to seek a better setup for the city in the 2013 polls.
They can follow what Mandaue voters did after the existence of an opposition-dominated council virtually crippled the city’s governance during the first term of Mayor Jonas Cortes. They reelected Cortes and made majority of his bets for councilor win.
Cebu City voters can reelect Rama and make majority of his bets for councilor win. Or they can allow Osmeña to regain the post of mayor and vote for a BOPK-dominated council. Either way, the goal is harmony.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 21, 2012.