Where’s the proof?-A A +A
Sunday, September 16, 2012
THE annual celebration of the Cebu Press Day Week kicked off yesterday morning with a grand freedom parade participated in by workers of the entire media industry. The participants assembled at the Cebu Business Park and marched toward SM City, where the opening ceremony was held.
A mass officiated by Dilaab founding chair, Fr. Carmelo ‘Mel’ Diola, was held at the SM Trade Hall followed by a dance competition of different media outlets and a raffle. Sun.Star Cebu’s delegation bagged the star of the parade and star of the show awards, bringing home a total of P30,000 in cash prizes.
After the program, the Cebu Newspaper Workers Foundation (Cenewof) and the Cebu Media Medical Aid Fund (Cemmaf) offered a free fitness and wellness program at the other side of the SM conference room. Media practitioners and even their family availed themselves of free services. Several activities, mostly forums and symposiums, especially on the role of the media in nation-building and on how to cope with new technology, have been lined up for the weeklong celebration.
This year’s celebration is the 18th since this annual activity was organized. Original organizers chose the week that includes Sept. 21, the day when former dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. It was in those years that the freedom of the press was oppressed. It was only restored when the Marcos regime fell through the People Power Revolution. Mabuhi ang media sa Sugbo.
After being hounded by controversies on the legality and propriety of his possession of two Dodge Charger sedans that were supposedly donated to the Cebu City Government by Bigfoot Entertainment Company, Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) has decided to repaint one of the vehicles.
Will his latest antic exculpate him from any liability in accepting the expensive gifts from Michael Gleissner, chairman of Bigfoot Company? In his defense, Tomas has been “singing” different tunes. Earlier, he and his wife Margot admitted that the vehicles were given to them by Gleissner.
Instead of donating it to the City Government, the couple claimed, Gleissner decided to give it to them upon learning that Tomas’s term as mayor was about to end in 2010. The next day, Tomas said his sister Minnie Osmeña bought it from Gleissner. Then Minnie’s son Paulo Osmeña Jacinto turned out to be the owner of one of the vehicles.
Okay, granting for the sake of argument that Minnie bought the cars. But she only did so last June 29. What happened from 2010 up to that date?
Tomas literally accepted those cars from Gleissner. He used them at his own disposal as if these were his personal properties. Did Tomas’s action constitute a violation of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act for accepting a donation from an individual who has a transaction with the Cebu City Government? That aspect should be determined by the Office of the Ombudsman, which has started its fact-finding against the congressman.
In 2009, I bought a second-hand blue Pajero Fieldmaster 2000 model. A year after, I had it repainted white, my favorite color. I endorsed my car to the Mitsubishi Company Mambaling branch. I thought it was like ordering a printed T-shirt. But Ben Novo, Mitsubishi branch manager, asked me to secure first some requirements before they would undertake the repainting. I was asked to apply for a change of color permit at the PNP Highway Patrol Group and to have the car undergo micro-etching (getting the engine and chassis numbers) to determine whether it was carnapped. They also asked me to produce the deed of sale and required me to execute an affidavit for change of color for the LTO.
Since Tomas announced that one of the vehicles is now in the shop for repainting, I would like to challenge the honorable congressman to produce these documents through the media to show the public that he complied with the requirements and to determine the real owners of these controversial cars. Dili lang siya kanunay magtabi. Pakita siyag ebedensiya.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 17, 2012.