CEBU

Bzzzzz: Congressmen's offices at Cebu City Hall; pilfered seal, Ahong-Tomas ties

(From left) Cebu City Hall, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, and former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña. (SunStar File)

PEOPLE are talking about...

* MISSING SEAL AT MAYOR'S OFFICE. Not a rare occurrence. The Cebu City mayor's seal was removed and spirited away as it was a symbol of authority. Its absence could annoy the new mayor, as it briefly did when Mayor Edgar Labella needed it for an oath-taking ceremony.

Similarly, the House mace, another symbol of authority, disappeared during the turbulent moments when then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was toppled and replaced by Gloria Arroyo last July 23, 2018.

Another theory on the mayor's seal: the culprit must have intended to use it as a souvenir in a shadow war room somewhere. Many years ago, a Spanish-era cannon disappeared and turned up in someone's residence.

* ABELLANOSA AND DEL MAR OFFICES AT CEBU CITY HALL. Not known to many people is that the Cebu City Government has provided its two congressmen an office each at City Hall: Representatives Raul del Mar in the north and Bebot Abellanosa in the south. A source says Del Mar has not used the City Hall room and holds his district office at his home, as most House members do. Abellanosa keeps his district office there.

Unlike in Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Labella has not asked the two congressmen, who are with Barug's rival BOPK, to vacate the offices. It's not known when the offices were first given (under which mayor) and whether a City Council ordinance provides for the grant.

* THE AHONG-TOMAS 'CONNECTION.' Those who ask why Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan has hired at least three Tomas Osmeña people as key officials in that city may not know of the "Ahong-Tomas connection."

Not the first time the former Cebu City mayor "exported" talent t neighboring LGUs. Even the Capitol under then Governor Hilario Davide tapped Tomas recommendees.

* CUSTOM'S COMMISSIONER'S 'KINGDOM." Elvira Cruz's lawyer was quoted as saying that Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero thinks the bureau is "his kingdom and we're back to the middle ages." Cruz, who was Cebu district collector before two others were appointed successively in her place, was reassigned to an allegedly non-existent office.

Cruz has filed several lawsuits but physically she is out of the Cebu port and is reportedly barred from entering its premises.

* MARCOSES'S REACTION TO POISONING OF IMELDA BIRTHDAY WELL-WISHERS. Mrs. Marcos turned 90 last June 30 but her celebration in Pasig was held Wednesday (July 3). At least 130 friends and supporters were rushed to Manila hospitals for vomiting and diarrhea.

The widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was "not affected," according to her chief of staff. Her daughter, Senator Imee Marcos was quoted as saying, "The food may have been spoiled but we remain solid." They will have the victims treated and the Marcoses will visit each one of them, she said.

* MONEY FLOWING IN HOUSE SPEAKERSHIP FIGHT. It's in the rumor circuit in Manila but ask your congressman and most likely he will not talk. From "no comment" to a naughty smile. The amounts have ranged from half a million pesos to a million. It can still go higher.

Money may still be given away to each congressman or congresswoman even if there will be an order from the president or the party leader.

Front runners are Leyte's Martin Romualdez and Marinduque's Lord Allan Velasco. But a dark horse may run away with the seat: the president's son, Davao's Paolo Duterte. How about the "Marami na tayo" statement of the president. He is no fool. And, according to one flatterer, "Having a Duterte as president and his son as speaker will show the beauty of democracy."

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