I THOUGHT we are friends but why are you hitting me on a personal matter?” This was the text message I received last Saturday from former Cebu City councilor and lawyer Jocelyn “Joy” Pesquera in reaction to my column last Saturday about Mayor Mike Rama’s finding a “new someone.”

That was followed by more exchanges of text messages, which I can’t divulge here because it was a personal and private communication between me and Ms. Pesquera. Joy was just pouring out her emotions on the latest talks or “tsismis” going around that Mike is reportedly romantically linked with Catbalongan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan.

Admittedly, it’s too akward on my part writing about this issue, which is more of an entertainment issue than news and public affairs. This item should have been in the entertainment page. But since this involves public figures so just please allow me to tak about it a little as a continuation of my column last Saturday.

In our exchange of text messages, Joy said she and Mike are still in love with each and they did not break up. She said there are just people within their camp who are not pleased with her and that these people are trying to sow intrigues between her and Mike.

She said that if they had indeed broken up, “you can no longer see me in Cebu. We are very much in love with each other,” she claimed. She refused to comment on Mike’s rumored romantic relationship with Mayor Tan.

Well, I am sorry Ms. Joy if you are dragged into the controversy. I didn’t mean to hurt you when I wrote that column. But you can’t avoid it that every time people or the media talk about Mike’s private life, your name is very much attached to it because it is public knowledge that you are engaged with him. But then again this issue has nothing to do with Mike’s governance.

But we can’t also prevent people from talking about it because Mike is a politician and a public figure. That is the price of being in that position. You are always subject to public scrutiny not only about your official action but also your private life. Daghan man gani mang-interest sa akong private life nga ordinaryo ra tang tawo. Pero ug ato lang gyud nga sabton, walay labot ang lungsod ani. Personal nga kinabuhi ni ni Mike. We will judge Mike on the basis of his performance, not on his private life. In my column last Saturday, I quoted the lyrics of the song “Goodbye” popularized by Air Supply. So, it’s not goodbye for Mike and Joy. They are still deeply in love with each other. It’s “Just keeping the love alive,” also by Air Supply. Again, I am sorry Ms. Joy. Hope you live happily ever after.

By the way, a resident of Catbalogan, who requested anonymity, emailed me that the marriage of Mayor Tan and her husband, Stephen James Tan, who is the vice governor of Samar, has not been annulled. No one filed an annulment. They are just separated. In fact, he attached a certification issued by the National Statistics Authority just last March that the couple’s marriage still exists.

Stephany Madriaga Uy was born on Aug. 28, 1983. In that certification, it showed that the couple were married last July 8, 2006 in Marabat, Samar. Again, this is not an intrusion into their private lives but I am just stating some facts in view of this much talked-about relationship. Hayy, pastilan ning gugma, pagkadili kasabot.

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Opposition at the Cebu City Council questioned the procurement of some 78,000 identification cards for City Hall employees, senior citizens and persons with disability, claiming that it has no appropriation and did not pass the council’s approval. Though, there was already a bidding conducted last year but the city government and the winnig bidder, AllCard Plastic Plastic Philippines Inc., has yet to sign a memorandum of agreement. Bando Osmeña Pundok Kausgawan (BOPK) members also question the color of the IDs which is similar to the color of Team Rama, a combination of yellow and green.

I don’t know what’s in the mind of the opposition. They are always blocking good projects of the Rama administration. This project will give the beneficiaries more convenience in claiming their salaries snd financial assistance. Senior citizens and PWDs will no longer line up in the Barangay gymnasiums every time the city will distribute financial assistance. If you are concerned with the plight of these sectors, why don’t you just support this project? As to the color of the cards, then you insist to put yellow and blue, the color of BOPK. Hastang samuka ning politika, bisan color daginoton.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)