The woman in the mayor’s office-A A +A
Thursday, March 7, 2013
THE gun-toting, “mentally unbalanced” woman who had gone inside the office of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, you think she was sent by someone from the camp of Tomas Osmeña?
What?! That’s preposterous! I can hear the Osmeña camp protest.
In this season of suspicion and distrust, that’s what some Rama supporters are saying. With the way the congressman of Cebu City’s north district is flailing the mayor, who can blame them?
Yesterday turned out to be somewhat eventful at the mayor’s office. A woman in her 50s went inside the mayor’s office in the morning and asked for an audience with Rama. She was told to please wait because the mayor was still busy.
The mayor’s office is large and abuzz with people. There are many desks and each has a specific function. It is a bureaucratic sight. The mayor has a separate room where he receives his guests but no guest can get in unless he says so.
So back to the woman, described to be in her 50s. So she waited like she was told.
Morning turned to afternoon and she still did not have an audience with the mayor.
She approached his secretary and asked for a pen and paper. She wrote him a note, which she handed to him at 2 p.m. when he came out of the office after his press conference with City Hall reporters.
The news reports say the mayor read the note when he was already in his vehicle, but does not say if the mayor and the woman had a conversation as she handed her the note.
But Mike Rama being Mike Rama, he would have exchanged pleasantries with her.
In his car, Rama read the note. The woman had written that she had an argument with her husband, was suffering from mental illness, and was carrying her husband’s gun in her bag.
He called up his office staff and had the gun seized because he said she was violating the gun ban. The woman was still in the mayor’s office. She did not resist when security men checked her bag. They found a .38 snub-nosed revolver. They confiscated it but let the woman go.
There was lapse in security, all right. Her bag may have been checked but probably from her appearance, she didn’t look like she was an assassin. Guards are prone to stereotyping people.
News posts of the incident at the mayor’s office in social network sites drew reactions that ranged from sober to far-out and had supporters of both Rama and Osmeña calling each other names. The deeper the comment box, the more off-tangent or out-of-topic the comments were about the news story.
But among the comments were suspicions that the woman was sent in by Osmeña to kill Rama. From their comments, you’d think they were speaking gospel.
Reading the comments, I lost track of the news story. The posters were now quarreling, throwing rumors of assassination plots and, depending on whose side they were on, defending Rama and Osmeña to death.
If the woman had meant to kill Rama, she could have shot him when he was near her. She had the chance. Instead, she wrote him a note and told him she had a gun.
She might have wanted to use the gun to kill herself. She was depressed but was lucid enough to tell the mayor that she was suffering from a “mental illness.”
Rama’s good nature prevailed. He had his staff look for the woman and take her to a social worker. The mayor himself did not believe she was out to kill him.
Despite the hostility Osmeña feels toward his mayoralty foe, he wouldn’t stoop to such a ploy. Osmeña, in case some of you haven’t noticed, likes to reduce his enemy to a pathetic life form.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 07, 2013.