Editorial: The apple and the tree-A A +A
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
IT'S a controversy that Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama brought upon himself. By choosing to spend a relatively big chunk of the city’s limited funds for the purchase of vehicles, he was forced to deal with the dilemma that such an act naturally conjures: how to distribute them.
It would have been different if that money was spent for, say, improving the drainage system in a barangay or implementing needed infra project.
City Hall could have directly worked on it without being accused of favoring his supporters over those of his political rival, Rep. Tomas Osmeña and his Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).
Also, the purchase of vehicles and their distribution to his favored barangay officials exposed Rama as a Tomas Osmeña clone as far as using government resources for partisan goals is concerned. The obvious difference is that while Rama is hesitant, Osmeña doesn’t give a damn about what the public thinks.
That’s why it is amusing for Osmeña and his supporters in the baragays to be complaining about Rama’s decision to favor his people in the distribution of vehicles.
At least Rama is merely frank in his announcement of his moves and not condescending like Osmeña often is.
Still, this shows that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Rama learned his politics from Osmeña and now that they have become rivals it has become both a boon and a bane for him. It is a boon because he can already anticipate how Osmeña will conduct his campaign. It is a bane because his strategy will always be similar to that of Osmeña.
This should be a turnoff to those who thought that Rama, being of a different temperament and nature than Osmeña, would end up being the opposite of his predecessor as chief executive.
In a way, Rama was different in the initial stages of his rule, but when the problems piled up and the reelection pressure mounted, he has ended up following what he learned in all his years as politician, and that is to be like Osmeña in many ways.
Which is unfortunate because what Cebu City needs now are politicians who are not only progressive in thinking and policy-making but who can also move beyond the partisanship that has stunted the city’s development and governance for many years now.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 06, 2012.