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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Seares: Bashing Margot Osmeña

A NUMBER of people, including one or two broadcasters, expressed surprise that Cebu City Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña was included in a tirade of former mayor Michael Rama against Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

One radio commentator said Councilor Margot should’ve been spared as a wife and a grandmother; she didn’t attack Mike, it was her husband who did.

Margot knows that as an elected public official, married to the mayor, and a multi-term city councilor, she is a high-profile, frequently visible political figure. And thus in the crosshairs of opposition shooters. Inevitably, some hostile fire would hit her and this week it did.

But it wasn’t like she was sought out and targeted. Mike blurted out the drug-addict label when the accusation of drug use against him and Team Rama was raised: he said he “knew that Margot used drugs.” Not unilateral fire but return shot.

In range of fire

Tomas drew her and everyone else in the BOPK camp to the scrimmage when he repeatedly called Mike and his group “Team Suyop.” The mayor accused everyone in Team Rama of “sniffing” drugs. Soon Mike also hurled the same charge against Margot. Tomas could no longer call his wife a collateral victim. To Rama, she was already a combatant.

Mike has not presented any evidence against Margot. What the ex-mayor may have is hearsay or maybe double hearsay: he heard it from someone who heard it from someone else.

But then Tomas has also shown no evidence of his charge against Mike and Team Rama. President Duterte, armed only with a list, accused Rama of being a drug protector but not a drug user. And Duterte named only Rama, not his councilors and barangay captains.

Her chosen stance

Margot herself did not mind the bashing. Or, at least, she didn’t show what she felt inside to Jason Monteclar on dyCM radio.

Her stance was: It didn’t “affect me.” Mike’s “opinion of me is not important,” “Right now, I don’t even think about it.” And she is not going to sue Mike “as of now.” And unlike her husband, she could even be civil to Mike if they meet.

That may not be honest: who’d be totally insensate to harsh attack? But that’s how she decided she’d face the issue. It shows she might be a tougher and wiser cookie than she is seen by her critics.

Why the attitude

Margot said her attitude could be due to her age. Tomas says she’s 69; Margot says she’s 68. Google says she’s 68 but will be 69 this July 25.

In a May 1, 2016 interview with CDN online, Margot said “It’s part of the job. Bashing, go ahead. I know who I am and who I am not.”

Maybe too she has the practical sense of not wanting to prolong the shelf life of the ugly picture that Rama displays. She recalled in the radio talk that a court case on the same topic was resolved years ago and she wouldn’t want people who now lead a quiet life dragged back to the public stage.

Unanswered

Jason managed to ask her if she had ever taken (illegal) drugs and if she had seen an LSD (tablet), a hallucinogen, but Margot deftly steered the conversation away.

The interview ended with those questions unanswered. Had Margot given a denial, still that would’ve left the issue unresolved, one more puzzler in the city’s muddled political babble.


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