Rama shaken out of stupor-A A +A
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
MAYOR Michael Rama has many of the positive qualities of a politician. He is relatively young, athletic, can sing and, like most members of his clan, is blessed with good looks. Just don’t let him talk because, as reporters would attest, he meanders. And I don’t like his passivity, probably a product of his happy-go-lucky ways.
Rama, as a talker, is a slower version of the late lawyer Vicente Balbuena, a fixture in the protest actions of the ‘80s. A reporter would ask Balbuena one question and he would fire away like a machinegun atop a speeding train. In contrast, the mayor’s style is more like water in a winding brook struggling to find the sea.
I think Rama loiters verbally because he thinks that way. For him, the logic of his answers needs to be explained first before he blurts them out. It’s in the preliminaries where Rama’s answer tarries. Plus, he sometimes gropes for words, further expanding his response time. But I am a patient man, so I actually don’t have a problem with that.
My criticism is in his non-combative stance.
I understand that refusal to go to war is Rama’s nature. I once saw him and then mayor Tomas Osmeña together in a gathering in the house of former city councilor Ernesto Elizondo in the ‘90s. In one corner was Osmeña talking seemingly unceasingly to a small audience of supporters. In the middle of the room there was Rama dancing with then councilor Joy Pesquera and others, also seemingly unceasingly.
But if you want to run, in his case for reelection, you have to let go of your easygoing ways and focus on the tasks at hand. And you have to understand what politics is. Here’s how my favorite theorist put it: politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.
That’s why many people found Rama’s earlier attitude regarding the “two Dodge Chargers” controversy involving Osmeña frustrating. The Cebu City Government is concerned with this issue because those two vehicles would have ended up in the City Hall garage and not in Osmeña’s residence. But what did Rama say?
“Kung ang Ombudsman tarong, obviously kanang mga butanga klaro kaayo na...Naa may DILG, naa may Ombudsman, I will challenge them. Nganong ako pa man ang mu-file?”
Anyway, it looks like somebody did shake the mayor out of his stupor because yesterday he took matters in his hand and filed a case against Osmeña with the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas. Not only that, he transformed it into a publicity stunt by using his supporters as backdrop. In a way, he out-Osmeñaed Osmeña.
I also learned that Team Rama is also trying to out-BOPK the BOPK. Members of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) have upped the ante as far as early campaigning is concerned, with the BOPK-controlled city council even holding sessions in the barangays in its own version of political pulong-pulong. The Office of the Mayor is countering that with its own barangayan.
Lest I be misunderstood, I am not endorsing early campaigning. I condemn that. But the Commission on Elections isn’t doing anything about it. Besides, I also frown on the use of unfair schemes. If the only way to correct this BOPK mistake is for Team Rama to commit its own mistake, so be it.
The worst thing to happen is when BOPK once again dominates election results because its opponent refuses or lacks the capability and resources to battle its dirty tricks tit-for-tat.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2012.