FORMER senator John “Sonny” Osmeña wasn’t expected to praise the recent moves of his cousin, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, in his speech at the Liberal Party gathering in Mandaue City to commemorate Edsa 1.

While both now belong to the same party, their relation remains strained.

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But Sonny has a point about Cebu City honoring President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who may yet end up facing graft cases after she leaves Malacañang, with its highest award, the Order of Rajah Humabon.

That brings to mind the city declaring former Cebu Metrodiscom chief Panfilo Lacson as its adopted son.

While Lacson did rise to become Philippine National Police chief and later senator of the land, he has become a fugitive of the law after murder charges were filed against him for the killing of Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Contribution, selection

In fairness to Osmeña, et al, the recognitions they gave to GMA and Lacson were obviously based solely on whatever they contributed to the city in a given time---Lacson, for his commendable stint as the Metro’s top cop and Arroyo, for the projects and assistance she heaped on the city during her presidency.

Apparently for City Hall, what the awardees do outside of that no longer matters.

Another thing: it’s not as if those recommended for awards during the city’s annual charter day celebration pass through rigid screening.

In the many years that Tomas has been at the helm of City Hall, the impression is that only the mayor selects the personality or institution to be recognized and what kind of award the personality or institution gets.

That’s why last year’s Miss Cebu, Kris Tiffany Janson, is an awardee.

Her inclusion mainly stems from the intention of the mayor to get back at Kimberley Burden, who complained about the Texters’ Choice award fiasco in last year’s pageant and put City Hall on the spot.

Another view

Choosing who to give an award to is the prerogative of the award-giving body.

At least in the case of President Arroyo, a good number of people also believe that whatever the mayor’s motivation is, his argument about giving credit where credit is due sounds compelling enough.