THOUGH BOPK and Team Rama councilors are temporarily equal in numbers, the opposition has practically paralyzed the council with political intramurals.
The council’s predicament arose when Presidential Assistant for Visayas Mike Dino plotted to get his brother-in-law Junjun Osmeña as councilor. He first enticed Hanz Abella to give up his council seat to become an NLRC commissioner then worked to have Junjun as his replacement.
Team Rama is trying to make us believe the appointment of Junjun is a done deal thus sealing its “babag majority” status. Technically, the replacement should be endorsed by the political party of the councilor who left the vacant seat. Then, there is Dino’s support.
Unfortunately, the appointment of lawyer Jeannify Tan-Dungog in lieu of the late Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Damian Gomez tells us Dino is not that powerful. Though LP-affiliated, the Lapu-Lapu City leadership is a Dino ally. They pushed for the appointment of former councilor Rudy Potot to replace Gomez who died last March.
Dungog, however, had the backing of solidly pro-Duterte Sec. Adi Sitoy. Kon si kinsa dunay mas lig-on nga pro-Duterte backer maoy nilusot.
I’m all praises for Mayor Paz Radaza, nevertheless, because of her statesmanlike position on the Dungog appointment.
In Cebu City, Junjun Osmeña is apparently not the only nominee for the seat vacated by Abella. While Digong’s opponent Jojo Binay in 2016 endorsed Junjun, pro-administration ally Sen. Manny Pacquiao backed former SK federation president Rengelle Pelayo of BOPK.
Who would President Duterte appoint? Junjun who is backed by Binay and Dino? Or would the president appoint Rengelle who is supported by the Pacman and Tomas?
While Dino’s camp had been labelling the mayor’s allies as yellow, the Bisaya Na Pud team were not in Cebu on the day of the 2016 miting de avance at SRP and on Election Day. They were in Manila. Taking the cudgels for the Duterte camp in Cebu City was the Let’s DO (Duterte-Osmeña) It and the Duterte Campaign Team (DCT) against UNA-Team Rama.
While the Council is locked in political intramurals, we await with bated breath Digong’s choice.
Are you not surprised why Dino, the Visayas presidential official tasked by President Duterte to oversee the Yolanda housing situation in Tacloban City, is silent when the Benitez-Evardone House inquiry unearthed anomalies recently? After the president’s order in November 2016, Dino had a flurry of PR activities that touted “Duterte Speed” in addressing the Tacloban situation until the president’s second visit in January 2017. It seems Dino neglected to follow through with the President’s order because he was too busy playing politics in Cebu City. He obviously needs a lot of explaining to do.
The pro-Duterte Kilusang Pagbabago in Cebu are now preparing their “Lihok Suporta” next week. Unlike usual anti-yellow rhetoric however, expect them to focus on “realizing change” and so-called “enemies of change.”
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2017.
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