Editorial: The matter of being upright-A A +A
Thursday, September 6, 2012
IT'S not Rep. Tomas Osmeña’s nature to stammer when faced with issues that put him on dangerous grounds. So when people questioned his acceptance of a gift in the form of two cars from Bigfoot Properties Inc. and his using one these as a “police car,” he didn’t hesitate to challenge his critics to file a case in court against him.
Call it his muscling his way out of predicaments. And more often than not, it works. Concerned government agencies like the anti-graft office think twice before probing the former mayor. Thus, Osmeña can sometimes cross the bounds of the legal and get away with it.
Even his political rival, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, is obviously in awe of Osmeña, at least on this cars issue. When told about Bigfoot gifting the former mayor with two vehicles in 2009, Rama, a lawyer, hesitated before coming up with this feeble response:
“I don’t want to make any judgment because anything I say, whether or not there is anything irregular, will be misunderstood as sour-graping because I will be running against him next year.” Very Rama. Which makes you ask whether Osmeña will ever be put to task on this matter.
More so because Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol also sounded hesitant when asked about the cars issue involving Osmeña.
This is the very reason why in Cebu City, the ethical and moral moorings in governance have suffered a beating. An example: In this city, the use of government resources in aid of election or reelection seems to have become an acceptable practice. The reason: in the past, Osmeña got away with it even if he had become more brazen.
The irony there is that when the plane carrying then Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo crashed, Osmeña volunteered to help in the search by renting an aircraft so he could go to the crash site in the seas off Masbate. He did that, he said, because Robredo was a friend.
But with the recent controversy involving Osmeña, it has gotten obvious that despite his being a friend of Robredo, the Robredo style of governance has not rubbed off on him. Robredo, when he was mayor of Naga City in Camarines Sur, made transparency and uprightness the guide of his governance.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 07, 2012.