Editorial: Not that ‘shocking’-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
THE latest political twist in the province is the reported thawing of Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmena’s icy relation with Cebu first district Rep. Eduardo Gullas. It is a twist and it is shocking considering the bitterness of the conflict that had set the two political leaders apart for years.
But the “shock” over reports that Osmeña had reached out to Gullas and even offered to realign P400 million originally intended for infra projects in Cebu City to the first district would not have wiggled unto some people’s line of vision had they been familiar with the Tomas Osmeña mindset and motivation.
Osmeña, as a politician, is among the most focused and once he sets his political goals, everything else, including the personal, becomes a factor of these goals’ successful implementation. For May 2013, his plan is obvious: retake City Hall and take over Capitol. Osmeña’s Gullas caper fits snugly into this intention.
Gullas is not the only political foe Osmeña “befriended.” In the city, he has successfully neutralized Kugi Uswag Sugbo (Kusug) stalwarts like former mayor Alvin Garcia and businessman Jonathan Guardo so they won’t go all-out in support of the reelection bid of Mayor Michael Rama.
In a way, Osmeña reaching out to Gullas is also the former’s attempt at neutralizing the latter.
Gullas is a former ally of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and One Cebu and, while he has been instrumental in the forging of an alliance between his group and the Liberal Party, may not go all-out for the gubernatorial bid of LP’s Hilario “Jun-jun” Davide III, an Osmeña bet. Osmeña’s move is therefore meant to strengthen Davide’s support in Gullas’s district.
This gambit may not concern Rama much but it did provide him with ammunition to make the former mayor look bad to the city’s constituents, especially in the south district. Rama went overboard, of course, with his describing Osmeña’s act as treason.
But that is the tendency of propaganda work: to exaggerate.
Gullas himself, being a wily veteran, knows that there is nothing permanent in moves done in the midst of maneuvering for advantage in the 2013 elections. He may express openly his gratitude for Osmeña’s gesture but he is expected to continue maintaining a safe distance from his former rival.
After all, the wind may blow in a different direction next year when there is no longer an election to be won.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2012.