THAT incident in Bonbon where Cebu City’s Probe team confronted south district Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa and the people behind the setting up of the Cebu Technological University (CTU) extension in the barangay was supposedly sparked by a letter Barangay Captain Alexander Ibarita sent to City Hall alleging an illegal construction there.

That is rather instructive because it looked like barangay officials could not assert their authority over those engaged in activities they questioned. Which also means that Abellanosa has not been coordinating with them regarding his project in the barangay. Instead, he seemed to have relied on a former barangay captain, Eddie Cabriana.

That’s where politics reared its head in the incident and that’s where Abellanosa’s maneuvering was exposed. Ibarita is obviously Team Rama while Cabriana is with the Bando Osmena-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK). And in his eagerness to push the project through apparently to gain political mileage, Abellanosa refused to coordinate with or seek help from City Hall.

Abellanosa probably thought he would not get support from Mayor Michael Rama but he should have tried coordinating with City Hall nevertheless and if the mayor did what he was expected to do, expose his politicking. Instead, he resorted to the cloak and dagger approach and in the process placed the enrollees of the hastily set-up CTU extension in an awkward position. As they say, you cannot fight City Hall.

On this, one wonders why CTU is going along for the ride. There is talk about the school being autonomous but that applies to running a school not in setting up an extension, the authority of the local government units (LGUs) be damned. Also, autonomy does not say CTU should not give LGU officials the courtesy they deserve in terms of coordination.

The mayor in Cebu City is with Team Rama. That’s one reality Abellanosa knew when he conceived of this project. The other reality is that the BOPK dominates the city council. If the mayor has accepted the latter reality, there’s no reason Abellanosa should not accept the former. Had he done that, he could have handled this project better.