Onion-skinned politicians-A A +A
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
IN HIS speech during the 25th anniversary of ABS-CBN's primetime newscast TV Patrol, President Noynoy Aquino chided news anchor and former vice president Noli de Castro for being critical of his administration. Noli was not around when PNoy spoke. Mao unta toy komentaryo nga harap-harapan.
But was it the right occasion for PNoy to “get back” at de Castro? The President should have showed respect for the news organization de Castro is a part of. PNoy should not be onion-skinned.
I am also critical of the policies of some politicians. As a result, south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña has been lambasting me and Sun.Star Cebu during his “pulong-pulongs.” He would tell his audience not to believe what I say in my radio program and write in my columns. He accuses me of being biased and siding with Mayor Mike Rama.
Kuyaw og modaog ko sunod eleksiyon bisan dili ko kandidato.
Siding with Mike? Maybe Tomas did not hear how I commented on Mike's policies and his non-decisive stand on some matters. I criticized him when he ordered the clearing of Mahiga Creek without offering the informal settlers there with financial assistance and relocation site. One good thing about Mike is that he not vindictive, unlike Tomas.
My relationship with Tomas turned sour way back in the ‘80s during his first term as mayor. I was with Bombo Radyo then. Remember Willer Sanchez, owner of a barbecue stand near JY Lahug that Tomas ordered dismantled? Tomas was accused of trampling on Willer’s barbecue.
Right after that incident, the poor guy ran to Bombo Radyo. I was handling a nightly program at that time. I tried to get in touch with Tomas to get his reaction. He ignored me because, according to the information I received, he was drunk. I helped Sanchez file a complaint before the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). But after a few years, the case was dismissed. Since then, Tomas has been targeting me for criticism.
But with his interference in the affairs of the Cebu City Government, which is now under Rama's watch, do you think Tomas can gain sympathy from independent media people? Tomas treats the South Road Properties (SRP) as his personal property. Do you expect the media to side with him on that? Tomas is now an obstructionist. It is just unfortunate that his rah-rah boys and girls in the city council are helping him achieve his personal agenda.
Maybe Osmeña forgot that I stood by his side when he was condemned for his stance regarding the killings of criminal elements allegedly by vigilantes. I defended him. Because of my stand, I was criticized by elements of the Catholic Church, human rights advocates and by a group of lawyers. Even my editors and fellow columnists advised me not to advocate vigilantism because it is illegal. Still, I continued to support it.
Gov. Gwen Garcia and I used to be friends. In her early years as governor, she used to invite me to every Capitol affair. I was a recipient of her Garbo sa Sugbo award when I bagged the 2004 KBP Golden Dove prize for best public affairs program host on radio besting Korina Sanchez of ABS-CBN.
But our friendship turned sour when I criticized her on the purchase of the Balili Property, the allegedly overpriced Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) and on her attitude in dealing with her staff and Capitol employees. Gwen is impulsive and does not hesitate to display her tantrums in public.
Maybe Gwen thinks that I will just close my eyes to what she is doing. Walang personalan, trabaho lang.
In my 32 years in this profession, I had several bad experiences with politicians who were subject of my commentaries. All I can ask them is this: Why did you join politics when you cannot stand or accept criticisms? Don't be onion-skinned.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 01, 2012.