Editorial: That UNA proclamation rally-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
GIVE the bragging rights to stalwarts and the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and its allies in Cebu led by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
The party’s proclamation rally last Tuesday at the Plaza Independencia drew in the crowd and that was enough. Now the challenge is for the Liberal Party (LP) and its allies in Cebu to come up with their own show of force when the party’s senatorial candidates come a-visiting.
The recurring theme of the speeches in that activity was Malacañang’s suspension of Garcia, which was expected considering that it can be interpreted as President Noynoy Aquino using his powers to give undue advantage to LP candidates. Garcia’s suspension allowed LP vice gubernatorial bet Agnes Magpale to take over Capitol.
The opposition pouncing on the suspension as an issue brings back the question of whether the move was correct as an LP political strategy. It contradicted the Aquino administration’s use of the Daang Matuwid slogan and provided an issue to hurl at PNoy by Team Garcia and UNA.
It is even possible that UNA stalwarts would not have thought of holding their proclamation rally for their senatorial bets in Cebu had Garcia’s suspension not happened. There would not have been an issue here that they could exploit.
In Cebu City, meanwhile, LP’s local ally, Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) chief and south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, was reduced to ranting about Rama’s use of city-owned vehicles to ferry the rally’s participants. Osmeña, who is battling Rama for the post of mayor in the May elections, was obviously affected by UNA’s show of force.
It was, of course, a case of the pot calling the kettle black. When he was mayor, Osmeña was even more shameless in his use of government resources to gain electoral advantage. Topping that act was the city spending around P1 million for the BOPK “miting de avance” disguised as inauguration of the South Road Properties in the May 2010 polls.
Still, it is good if Osmeña will file a complaint against Rama so we will know if the rules regarding the use of government vehicles will be finally implemented—-although doing so should not be selective.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 14, 2013.