Black propaganda, lack of funds

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Free Zone

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EVEN before the campaign period for the May 2013 elections could officially start, the candidates in Cebu in all levels are on the road almost every day, meeting and shaking hands with voters and even non-voters.

Black propaganda against candidates of One Cebu party has started to surface. But without the black propaganda, the election campaign would admittedly be somewhat dry and drab. Just consider it the chili spice in every poll.

One Cebu party gubernatorial bet Rep. PJ Garcia bewailed the recent distribution of flyers as childish and desperate. The flyer states: Batukan ang Limbong, Ilad, Lansis ug Insulto (Balili) sa atong pinalanggang Sugbo. The acronym pertains to the controversial property, a big chunk of which is under water, that Gov. Gwen Garcia bought.


Governor Garcia, some members of the Provincial Board and Capitol officials were charged with corruption before the Ombudsman as a consequence of the allegedly anomalous purchase of the Balili property.

Governor Gwen and Congressman PJ described the distribution of the flyers as a cheap shot from the Liberal Party (LP). But Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, LP’s bet for vice governor, denied the charge. Magpale said anyone could have distributed the flyers.

Congressman PJ said the flyer is a “sign of childish behavior and desperation.” Governor Gwen is running for Congress in Cebu’s third district, taking the place of her brother PJ, who is running for governor with Boboy Durano as his running mate.

Congressman PJ very well knows that black flyers are part of the drama and in putting down a candidate during the poll campaign. I expect other forms of black propaganda to surface against the LP or against One Cebu bets.
In Cebu City, Mayor Michael Rama, who is seeking reelection, was fuming mad when the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK)-dominated city council refused to act on the proposed supplemental budget, threatening the delivery of the basic services, such as garbage collection.

He also blamed the city council for the lack of food and water provisions for volunteers during the celebration of the All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day due to lack of funds. BOPK councilors hid under the table Councilor Edgar Labella’s resolution for funding.

With the present setup in the city council, Mayor Rama could not expect favorable action on his requests even if he would lose his voice begging for it. Vice Mayor Joy Young even viciously called him bogo (dim-witted).

Under our brand of politics, public service is only second to the whim and caprices of a bossy politico, except for those who have extraordinary heart for the people, of course. Mayor Rama knows this since he was once with the BOPK’s boss.

The BOPK councilors would not mind if city residents suffer from inadequate public service. I could see from their acts that they would want the people to blame the mayor for all the maladies that crop up in the city.

This reminds me. Did the Commission on Audit (COA) ever question the use of city funds by Tomas Osmeña when he ran for Congress against businessman Atan Guardo in the 2010 elections?

Congressman Tomas spent city hall funds to propel his candidacy, as if these were money from his pocket. Upon the instruction of Tomas, the city council presided by then Vice Mayor Rama appropriated funds for students’ scholarship and additional giveaways for the elderly.

Did anyone complain about what Tomas did to the city’s coffers in the last elections?

The truth is, not one soul was brave enough to bring Tomas to the Ombudsman.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 08, 2012.


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