TOMAS Osmeña and Atan Guardo have been trading verbal attacks for some time now.

Competing for the south district House seat, they’ve been noisier than most other local combatants.

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When Atan sought a “grand debate,” Tomas said there’s no need as they’ve already been debating. No moderator, no rules but each has long been engaged in a war of words.

Tomas said Atan doesn’t have friends while he has plenty. Oh yeah? Atan retorted, let’s walk together along Colon St. and see who gets more greetings.

That’s as silly as quarreling over corpses to give free coffins to, but Tomas’s fitness to run is a legitimate issue.

Electing a public official isn’t choosing the faster runner but voters want to know if their congressman won’t keel over while answering roll call at plenary or nature’s call in the House CR.

Tomas’s demand for Atan to account for government funds in his custody during the Asian Games is valid. So is Atan’s demand for Tomas to explain how he can keep, with mayor’s pay, a rich-and-famous lifestyle.

Charges, counter-charges: all dutifully reported by the press.

Brickbats

“Deception, lies,” Tomas on Atan. “Dirty tactics,” Atan on Tomas. They’ve thrown brickbats of all sorts and neither went to the prosecutor to complain.

And then, for one limp accusation from Atan—that City Hall tried to stop his aid-giving to fire victims—Tomas decided to sue.

Where’s the libel there? Tomas is a sitting mayor who’s in the thick of a campaign for Congress. Hello.

And the journalists who merely reported the running dispute are liable too? Crazy.

(paseares@yahoo.com)