Tomas doesn’t care for his district-A A +A
Sunday, March 17, 2013
NOW it can be told. Cebu City South District Rep. Tomas Osmeña does not care for his district and for his constituents. Instead of pouring his congressional allocation for various infrastructure projects in his district, he opted to give it to the first district of the province under Rep. Eduardo Gullas for reasons he only knows.
It is a total of P400 million, the report said. The projects include construction of bridges and road widening of the national road in the first district. They inaugurated the first phase of the projects over the weekend in Naga City. The amount was supposed to be for the construction of a flyover at the junction of Gorordo Ave., and Modesta Gaisano St., going to Beverly Hills.
But because Mayor Michael Rama strongly opposed the construction of more flyovers, Tomas “transferred” the funds to the first district.
We don’t know what’s in his mind. He and Gullas were once at odds when Gullas, who was then mayor of Talisay, claimed a parcel of the South Road Properties as part of Talisay.
That conflict even became personal when Tomas, who was then mayor of Cebu City, blocked motorists from the south who wanted to go to Cebu City from using the south coastal road.
The issue reached the court after lawyer Fred Sipalay filed a complaint against Tomas.
The court ruled in favor of Sipalay and ordered Tomas to remove the barricade.
Tomas also forbade fish dealers and vendors from Talisay from displaying their products at the Pasil Fish Market.
The two politicians really live up to the proverbial saying “love your enemy” because they are now “best friends.”
There are speculations as to why Tomas decided to pour his congressional allocation in the first district. First, is to boost the candidacy of Liberal Party gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III against One Cebu Party candidate Rep. Pablo John Garcia (third district).
Tomas was the one who prodded Davide, then a Cebu City councilor, to run in the 2010 elections against suspended Gov. Gwen Garcia, who is in her last term. Tomas wanted to control the Province through Davide.
But did Tomas make the right move? Gullas has refused to budge from his position to support the candidacy of Pablo John. We don’t know if there is that so-called “modus vivende” between Gullas and Osmeña. Magbantay gyud ka ana, Cong. Pablo John, kay basin magmata lang ka unya og buntag.
The second speculation is that Tomas’s move is his show of support for the candidacy of Gerard Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, Gullas’s grandson, who will succeed his “Lolo Eddiegul” in the first district. Samsam’s mother is reportedly the sister of Tomas’s wife Margot.
But some political observers said there is no need for Tomas to pour such a huge amount in the first district considering the young Gullas is running unopposed. All Samsam needs is just one vote and he will be declared the winner.
Tomas’s constituents have reasons to “cry.” They could have been the beneficiaries of that amount. If Mike opposed the construction of flyovers, why couldn’t Tomas use the money for other infrastructure projects like road widening, concreting and asphalting? He could have widened the road in Guadalupe and opened up more roads or built foot bridges in the mountain baragays in his district.
If Tomas was able to transfer the funds to another district, there was no reason he couldn’t use the money for other purposes in his district.
North District Rep. Cutie del Mar faced a similar problem since the two flyover projects proposed in her district were also opposed. But Cutie used the budget for other projects in her district.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 18, 2013.