CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has gained the upper hand against Presidential Assistant Mike Dino in the battle to name a caretaker for Barangay Ermita after the suspension of Barangay Captain Imok Rupinta. The DILG has allowed the mayor to appoint an acting barangay captain.

Rupinta and seven of his councilors were suspended for allegedly not helping an anti-drug operation of PDEA.

Dino denies he dipped his hands into the matter. But Rupinta named Dino when interviewed by a SunStar reporter, although he denied this later.

With Dino’s name whispered as the one behind revamps at the airport, Cebu port and the Bureau of Customs, his involvement in the Ermita controversy is not a surprise. After all, Dino was instrumental in the recruitment of Team Rama officials to President Rody Duterte’s party, the PDP-Laban.

Expect Ermita caretaker Dave Tumulak to see if barangay matters are in order. Remember how then acting mayor Margot Osmeña uncovered anomalies during Rama’s suspension?

With the raid of a drug den located just behind the Carreta barangay hall (another Team Rama stronghold), I expect a repeat of what happened in Ermita. When drug users feel safe using a drug den so near the barangay hall, somebody must be a protector.

We can also expect the return of the drug lords with the PNP stumbling in the conduct of the drug war. Di na kaya sa PDEA alone.


The suspensions of Mayor Nito Durano of Danao City and Mayor Paz Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City surprised me.

In the Durano case, the concerned employees were already paid and reinstated before the decision to suspend the mayor. The delay in releasing the salaries was not deliberate or a result of neglect, explained a Danao official. Besides, there is the Aguinaldo doctrine.

The suspension of Radaza, on the other hand, stemmed from the Girls’ Scout case that happened long before she became mayor. There are cases against other officials that were dismissed because of the delay in processing the case. Justice delayed, justice denied. This is unfair to the mayor. This is also unfair to the people of Lapu-Lapu who voted Radaza for another term because of her performance.


No, chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain was not referring to Zubuchon when he called Cebu’s Lechon as the best in 2009, contrary to what a recent controversial article claimed. Cebuano lechon connoisseurs know he tasted Rico’s lechon.

As a kid, I was familiar with the lechon in Talisay. I spent many weekends at the Nacorda ancestral house in Basak-Pardo because almost always, at least one of the many titos would drive to Talisay for a swim and eat lechon. Maybe it’s fate. But for nearly two decades now, I live just a trisikad away from the lechon stalls near the old Yarrow where I often see lechon lovers who drive all the way from Cebu City on Sundays.

In fairness to Zubuchon though, let’s credit them for the Cebu branding. It might be commercial for lechon lovers like me, but amidst the bland lechon in Manila, Zubuchon will stand out.