Bzzzzz: Franz Sabalones death faked, says conspiracy theory; Tony Cuenco wants debate to go on as it will pick the poll winner

CEBU. Former Cebu representative Antonio Cuenco and self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones. (SunStar File)

Advice to debaters

FORMER congressman Tony Cuenco, who is now seeking a south district seat in the Cebu City Council, yesterday (Monday, April 22) told Bzzzzz that he "firmly believes" the scheduled debate between Tomas Osmeña and Edgar Labella "should proceed." That, amid some noise from within and outside Partido Barug for Vice Mayor Labella not to debate with Mayor Osmeña. Labella's running mate Mike Rama, the former mayor, also advised his colleague against it.

"It does not matter who is leading in the surveys," Tony said, "the Cebuanos must know who is the better leader.

That assumes one debate is enough for voters to decide on their choice of mayor. Asked if the experience of his son Jose V. Cuenco -- former OIC mayor who debated with Tomas in the 1988 elections, which was later blamed for his loss -- gave any lesson, Tony said, "the debate will reveal the true character, competence, honesty and sincerity of the candidates." The better debater, he said, "wins the hearts and minds of the voters."

He cautioned though, "when you enter into a debate, you must be prepared and must firmly believe that you can beat your adversary."

ID'd by cousin

The theory has been circulated since the weekend when there was little news about the killing of self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones.

Was it really Sabalones from San Fernando, Cebu who was shot in the head as he alighted from his Ford pickup at Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City last April 18, Holy Thursday? Was the identification of the body by a Joselito Cabilao, who said he was Franz's cousin, not enough?

Police and other sectors focus on the killer or killers while those who raise the conspiracy theory, including broadcaster Bobby Nalzaro, are not satisfied with the sole identification.

Just as there's sparse evidence that the victim was really Franz, there's nothing much to support the suspicion that he was not.

Faking a death, with or without the help of police or NBI, cannot be ruled but it's not being done, except in fiction and the movies. With the technology available, it is hard to fake a death, unless the law enforcers would actively take part in, or are complicit to, the fraud.

Campaign trail tidbits

* While a candidate for governor was talking on stage, the rally speaker spotted, or was told, that the town mayor belonging to the rival camp was in a car that was cruising around the rally rite. The speaker called the mayor out by name, telling him to get out of the car and have a face-off on the town's or other issues. The car bearing the mayor sped away.

* On Easter Sunday (April 21), the Manila archbishop, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, in his homily kept repeating "bato" or stone, the boulder that blocked the entrance to the cave where Jesus's body lay. He used "bato" as metaphor to the bad traits a sinner must remove. Supporters of senatorial wannabe Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa saw the repetitive use of "bato" as endorsement for the former police chief, who led on the ground the war on illegal drugs from July 2016 to April 2018. His critics said Tagle's reference was for "bato" to be rolled away. That may no longer happen to Bato de la Rosa who, if elections were held last March, was securely inside the Magic 12.


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