SECTIONS
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
CEBU

Bzzzzz: Tomas not talking to media but Margot is; Minnie and Georgia sighted

CEBU. Minnie (left) and Georgia Osmeña, sisters of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña. (SunStar File)

Scrolling down: what the mayor's family took up with House Speaker Gloria Arroyo in their publicized meeting; how Duterte's scolding affected Tomas's wife; whether police participation in partisan rally wouldn't be seen as endorsing Barug-PDP Laban over BOPK in Cebu City; why Mike Rama was not on stage at Plaza Independencia.

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BUT FIRST, Two Osmeña siblings at two of three public events last Sunday (September 9): Minnie Osmeña at the tribute to Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. on his birth anniversary and Georgia Osmeña at, wait for it, the Barug-PDP Laban rally.

Minnie and Georgia are sisters and their brothers are Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, former senator Serge Osmeña and businessman Esteban Osmeña. Their parents were Serging Osmeña Jr., the former Cebu City mayor and senator, and Lourdes de la Rama.

Minnie is identified politically with Tomas (from whom she bought those controversial police cars) and usually helps him in his election campaigns. Georgia, in contrast, ran as an independent against Mike Rama, her brod Tomas's bet in 2010. It wasn't certain if Minnie joined the BOPK rally last Sunday but Georgia, with Junjun Osmeña, was at the competing Barug rally.

That talk with Digong

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña still has to restore his press-cons at City Hall and, occasionally, do interviews on radio. As of Monday morning (September 10), he was still not talking to the press.

But his wife, Councilor Margot Osmeña, talked, at times even more clearly and inoffensively than the mayor would.

In a dyCM interview, Margot said she, Tomas and their son Miguel indeed met with House Speaker Gloria Arroyo. "I cannot lie." But she wouldn't tell what they talked about, except (1) they covered a number of subjects and (2) GMA didn't reject what they asked her to do.

Margot was referring to their request, publicized by Barug Councilor Raymond Garcia, that GMA help patch up the Osmeña's relations with President Duterte.

'Hambugero, arrogante'

Councilor Margot conceded that Duterte last September 21 lashed at her husband for being arrogant and "hambugero," but not for corruption or drugs.

Does that offer some comfort when Digong in the same naming-shaming vowed to slap Tomas if the two would meet? Margot said she was "saddened" but not angry.

She told radio anchor Jason Monteclar she and Duterte are not close. It's not like he'd say, "Hi, Margot" if they'd bump into each other. But she said she respects the president and the office.

That's why, she said, she cannot imagine Duterte interceding for SM owners in their running feud with the mayor. Margot was asked if Tomas's rumored rebuff of Digong's request was the reason he's mad at him. First time I heard about it, she said, apparently with a straight face.

'We're with Barug'

It was not a police-initiated rally, Vice Mayor Edgar Labella explained, but it was one of twin purposes of the Barug-PDP Laban gathering at Plaza Independencia last Sunday.

They aimed to affirm support for Duterte's war on illegal drugs and to express support for the local Labella said, also on dyCM radio.

The VM didn't admit the unspoken purpose: to boost Barug-PDP Laban's chances in 2019. News reports said Barug had a larger crowd than BOPK's at Plaza Sugbo, which the VM shrugged off as not "determinative" of the results in next year's elections.

Labella said the police showed symbolically that it accepts civilian supremacy when they -- PNP regional chief Debold Sinas and Cebu City police chief Goyina Garma and their contingent -- chose to stay behind the mass of crowd at the rally.

What Edgar didn't say was that it could be the first time in recent history that the police attended a partisan rally. It was political, despite the denial from both sides, an assembly which they joined not as observers and keepers of the peace but as participants. The act couldn't help but suggest to the public, "We're with Barug."

Where was Mike Rama?

The former Cebu City mayor was not seen on stage at the Barug assembly. And Mike Rama did not, or was not invited, to speak; it was mainly a mass and a rock-and-roll session after all.

VM Labella said Mike attended the event but was among the crowd. Did the ex-mayor join the R&R singing and shaking phase?

Edgar said that even his speech was short, calling for support to the drug war and the police. He wasn't asked if he condemned the extrajudicial killings, which violate Barug's RL (rule of law) mantra. The VM did say that police who violate the law must be prosecuted.

Why the strictly brief remarks? "Di ko molupad unya di kahibawong kanus-a motugpa." An advice that some of his party-mates might find useful.

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