FAMILY relationships are crucial yet can be critical. It’s no secret that being part of a family is hard. There are times when the people who are closest to you can be the most frustrating people you know. We have heard of stories about family relationships getting destroyed because of politics. In Cebu, we are no strangers to this kind of situation as there have been political clans whose family members ran against each other during elections.
But what shocked the Mandauehanons was the formal and official declaration of Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr., the patriarch of the influential Quisumbing clan, owner of the Norkis Group of Companies, that he was supporting the comeback bid of Sixth District Rep. Jonas Cortes as Mandaue City mayor against his grandson, incumbent mayor Gabriel Luis “Luigi” Quisumbing. The elder Quisumbing, through a full-page newspaper advertisement the other day, declared that he is supporting Cortes over the reelection bid of Luigi, who is the son of Louie, Norberto’s son.
The elder Quisumbing said one of the reasons he withdrew his support from Luigi, whom he claimed he supported all the way since Luigi joined politics starting as a Provincial Board member, congressman and then as mayor of Mandaue, is that power and greed has gotten into Luigi’s head. Dr. Quisumbing said Luigi ordered the closure of the bar owned by his auntie and cousin, The Sentral Bar and Lounge, which is located inside the Norkis compound on A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City.
The Quisumbing patriarch said he could have stayed neutral in the mayoralty race between his grandson and Cortes but changed his mind because Luigi “has chosen to delve into dirty politics, character assassination and negative campaigning.” There was a drug matrix that came out in the social media tagging Pinky, Luigi’s aunt, and cousin Kyle as the supplier of party drugs ecstasy. The family suspects that Luigi’s camp was behind it.
This was supposed to be an “intra familia” affair or a “family feud” but the dirty games of politics came into play. The family could have settled this matter without political fanfare. They are just washing their dirty linen in public. But who “fired” the first shot to make this issue public?
As far as I can recall, Luigi ordered the closure of the bar owned by his relatives because it did not have permits when it held parties during the Sinulog last year. The mayor also ordered the closure of two other bars for similar violations. Besides, per police and Pdea intelligence reports, The Sentral Bar and Lounge was allegedly pinpointed as the source of party drugs. It was a case of a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation” for Luigi.
The three bars committed similar violations. If he did not close The Sentral, people may think that he was playing favorites because the bar was owned by his relatives. And if he closed it, as what happened, the owners reacted “violently.” I agree with Luigi. He is the “father” of the city with a duty to protect and preserve it. So, he should strike a balance between his official function and family interest.
But I can surmise that this conflict is not confined to the Lolo and the grandson. It will definitely escalate to involve other members of the family. Do you think Louie, Luigi’s father, will just take this issue lightly? He will also feel aggrieved because his son’s political career is at stake here. His father’s declaration will affect Luigi’s reelection bid. For sure Louie will bear a grudge against his father and sister Pinky. I can foresee that this family feud is not only confined to personal and political matters but also to inheritance.
You see how politics destroys family relationships?