CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday said opposition leader Jonathan Guardo’s allegation that City Hall tried to stop his distribution of relief goods in Barangay Calamba last Saturday was part of a “pattern of deception and lies.”

He said suing the businessman will help clear everything.

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Osmeña said he already caught Guardo “lying” when the businessman said he donated 500 basketball boards when the basketball boards in the south district did not reach that number.

The mayor also said the possible filing of a libel complaint has nothing to do with the distribution but on the allegation; and he has to protect the “reputation” of the city.

Hearsay

Tomas said Guardo just based his statement on “multiple levels of hearsay,” as it was only relayed to him by his supporter, former Calamba barangay councilor Cora Lim.

Lim, the mayor said, was supposedly warned by barangay tanods who were allegedly ordered by the barangay captain, as instructed by City Hall.

The mayor said that in court, Guardo can make a formal statement, which will also help City Hall get to the bottom of things, if somebody really tried to stop the distribution using the name of City Hall.

After complaining that the Cebu City Government removed his basketball boards and deprived him of venues for his barangay sports programs, Guardo last Saturday complained about an alleged attempt to prevent him from distributing relief goods to Barangay Calamba’s fire victims.

He said that early last Saturday, his political leader, former Calamba barangay councilor Cora Lim, informed him that barangay tanods went to her house and warned her against continuing with the distribution scheduled at 10 a.m.

The tanods, he said, told Lim that they were sent to warn her that those who accept the goods and have relatives working in the barangay, will see their relatives fired.

The tanods, Guardo said, were instructed by Barangay Captain Victor Quijano Jr. on orders from City Hall.

This angered the mayor, who said the allegation was malicious and “went too far.”

Told of the mayor’s words, Guardo said that if the mayor wants to know what real libel is, he should wake up early and listen to broadcast commentaries.

He said the mayor is used to criticisms and allegations in the media and “does not easily respond” to them.

“But I’ve noticed him becoming very irritable lately.

It is very unlikely of him filing a lawsuit. Dili gyud siya mokiha basta-basta. I think it is now a realization that he is

slowly losing his grip in this election,” Guardo said.

“Gamay lang kisaw, mapikon na siya. Nanghatag lang ko’g bugas, karon mokiha na, irritable na kayo (He easily gets irritated about small things),” he said.

On the basketball boards, Guardo said he had always challenged the mayor that they check the items together and see who lied.

“Ayaw pakuyog og duha ka doctor like what he does in his pulong-pulong. But I’m sure ni-dwindle na ang number of boards karon kay iya na mang gipanglangkat (He has already had the board removed already),” Guardo said.

Osmeña said he is used to Guardo’s insults, but attacking the City Government is a different thing.

He said his personal life is separate from his public life as a mayor.

Since it is the City that was attacked, he said that as its mayor, he must defend its integrity.

“He keeps insulting me, I’m used to that. But when he said City Hall, that’s not Tommy Osmeña… I have to protect the City because I am the mayor,” he said.