AFTER strong opposition efforts to limit use of Cebu City’s P7.2 billion 2017 budget last December, Mayor Tomas Osmeña merely vetoed the items he questioned. Team Rama could merely watch unable to override the mayor’s veto.
The majority at the City Council likewise delayed action on Mayor Osmeña’s emergency plan to address the garbage situation. The opposition made it appear that there was no quorum for an emergency session called on Jan. 3. It was gathered later that only Councilor Edu Rama had not yet returned from his vacation abroad. I thought, naa may quorum kon gidayon gyud.
When the emergency session finally happened on Jan. 6, the council granted what the mayor asked.
Of course, sniping against the P25.5 emergency procurement continued. The previous plan under former mayor Mike Rama was better and cheaper, blah-blah-blah. But the council okayed the plan.
I think the present plan was transparent. The opposition majority had a chance to scrutinize the plan during the session unlike before. Cebu City trucks won’t anymore be subjected to heavy wear and tear unlike before. And the opposition had the opportunity to officially question Jomara Konstrukt’s performance last December. There was a lot of noise and posturing during the holidays and even after the emergency session. But when they had the chance to officially question, even grandstand, they simply allowed it.
Apparently, the same thing happened with the council’s approval for the 93-1. After a lot of media noise, the council majority went along with the position of the mayor.
Team Rama councilors could always say these developments indicate they are not obstructionists. Di sila babag councilors. But it also tells me that Osmeña is getting his way.
During a recent discussion with friends about the latest political twists at City Hall, there are already speculations on who among the Team Rama councilors will be next to defect. If Osmeña can get his way anyway, what’s the point of staying opposition and not enjoy the perks of being under his good graces? Look at Mary Ann, Dave and Hanz.
After all, how many does the BOPK camp need? Just two more defectors to ensure that Vice Mayor Labella can’t break a tie, if ever? Wa na man kinahanglana ang dugang.
We can also speculate that Osmeña has no more qualms leaving to Labella the reins when the mayor goes out of the country. So is he now acceptable? Hmmm, I think it is still a numbers game.
Threats against regional officials perceived to be pro-Osmeña continue though.
Yes, one former city councilor keeps on telling transportation stakeholders he is the next LTFRB 7 director. But he faces the sterling performance of Director Ahmed Cuizon.
As councilor for several terms, Ritchie Osmeña is best remembered by his Paris trip that was funded by the City’s calamity funds. The latest I heard, the good councilor still needs to liquidate the funds used.
Because it was so near the end of his last term, his supposed attendance of a global conference on climate change seemed like a joke to me. After he arrived from Paris, Ritchie’s last major act as a councilor was his support for a coal-fired plant in Sawang Calero.
But Ritchie’s Visayas presidential sponsor, and bayaw, has not given up. Director Cuizon, because of his performance, might just be kicked off to create a local vacuum. Hmmm.
Another regional official perceived to be pro-Osmeña also faces efforts to remove him.
Last year, Customs District Collector Koko Holganza showed how he could help the Duterte administration. He accumulated a 2016 collection surplus of P1.2 billion. This made Cebu the top collection district in the whole country. Finally, this feat reflected the economic performance of Cebu vis-a-vis the whole country basta tarungon lang ug walay binuang ang pagkolekta sa para sa kagamhanan.
But why is there a power move to replace him with somebody friendly with a presidential assistant?
I don’t believe Koko is an ally of Osmeña. During the last election campaign, he was more seen as a sympathizer of Duterte. If Roxas had won, that would have been goodbye to Koko along with another pro-Duterte port stakeholder Opascor’s Tomas Riveral. But then, both Holganza and Riveral are not part of one powerful faction.
(@anol_cebu in Twitter)