Cebu almost an afterthought

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


PRESIDENT Aquino is right. The People Power revolution didn’t just take place in Manila. It only ended there at Edsa. They finished what we started.

Remember that election for the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978 when Cebu, together with Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, gave the opposition Pusyon Bisaya a huge margin over their Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) opponents that even the extensive KBL cheating apparatus failed to overcome?

That was the clearest statement ever made by the people since the imposition of martial law that we were not scared of Ferdinand Marcos and his minions and that we were prepared to wage the fight for freedom, no matter what the cost.

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It was perhaps because of our reputation as hotbed of the opposition to martial law, that Cebu was among the first places to be visited by Cory Aquino and Doy Laurel when they ran in the snap elections in February 1986.

And when they were cheated, where did Mrs. Aquino go to seek support for her campaign for civil disobedience? She came to Cebu and here was where she was when then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Philippine Constabulary chief Fidel V. Ramos announced their breakaway from Marcos.

But if the President really came to salute the patriotism of the Cebuanos who fought against martial law, why did they announce as late as a week ago that the reenactment of the People Power revolution was going to be held in Malacañang? Cebu was never mentioned as possible venue. Obviously, our province was a last minute choice, almost an afterthought.

But let’s not dwell on that. Let us assume that the President had long ago decided that the celebration this year was going to be held in Cebu but refrained from making the necessary announcement because he wanted to surprise us.

A pertinent question to ask is, where were the Cebuano leaders of the struggle for freedom? Why were they not visible at the reenactment?

Where were the remnants of the fabulous Pusyon 13? Where was Dodong Holganza and his son Joeyboy? Where was Tony Cuenco?

Inday Nita is dead but couldn’t her son Joey have represented her? Were the heirs of lawyer Billy Legaspi even notified that an event that would celebrate the cause that their father fought for would be held at the Capitol grounds on Tuesday?

President Aquino said he does not want anyone to rewrite the history of the People Power uprising. Well, ignoring the roles in the struggle of the above-named Cebuanos as well as those of Vic Balbuena, Paul Rodriguez, Zenaida Uy, Dodong Baduel, George Baladjay and Gloria Estenzo, among others, is not only rewriting history. It is distorting it.

***

I was invited to a meeting of local business leaders with representatives of the consortium of Filinvest and Changi Airport of Singapore yesterday afternoon. I was planning to attend since I have written about the now-controversial Mactan airport terminal project at least thrice and I wanted to listen to what Filinvest and Changi had to say. Unfortunately, I had to attend to some clients.

Anyway, I just hope that the issues surrounding the bidding process would be put to rest soon. We want the project to start immediately but at the same time, we want to make sure that everything, and I mean everything, that had to do with it, including the bidding process is resolved.

This is not an ordinary road asphalting or canal dredging public. This is a P14.4 billion thing. We can’t sacrifice due diligence in the name of expediency.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2014.

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