AFTER almost a month of silence since the controversy erupted when former mayor Tomas Osmeña ordered the massive destruction in his office before stepping down from power last June 30, the “has-been mayor” now offered to restore the office to its 2016 condition. In his July 18 letter to Mayor Edgardo Labella, Osmeña was not even apologetic, saying he had no plan to destroy the entire office and blamed Labella’s trusted lawyers for blocking the restoration.
Here’s his letter in toto:
“Sometime last month, I ordered the removal of the items that I owned from my office located at the 8th floor of the Cebu City Hall. So as not to cause inconvenience during working hours, the work was scheduled to be done at nighttime starting June 27, 2019. The order was to remove whatever belonged to me personally, and to restore the office to its 2016 state, i.e, the time prior to the introduction of my personal belongings to the office.
“The work was supposed to continue the next day. However, your lawyers, Rey Gealon and Floro Casas Jr., interfered on June 28, 2019. They also brought in elements of the Philippine National Police to the office. This cause the unfinished work to stop. In addition, the unfinished work was brought to the attention of the media, and the media frenzy immediately followed.
“As the media spectacle is now over, and as I have just recently returned to Cebu City from abroad, I am writing this letter to ask you to allow my contractor to continue with the restoration of the office to its 2016 condition. I have only removed my personal belongings, but the restoration of the office to its 2016 state is still incomplete due to the interruption, intervention and stoppage brought by your lawyers as above-mentioned.”
Sus, maayo gyud morason pa si Tomas. Bright gyud. Why did this alibi crop up only recently? Why did he not give this explanation right after the incident?
His reaction at that time was very arrogant and only showed his vindictiveness.
When asked why he stripped his office of the valuable items, including the flooring, ceiling, electrical wiring, lavatory and toilet bowl, he said that he wanted Labella to feel what he felt when the City Council, then dominated by Labella’s allies, did not give him the budget for the office renovation.
“I just want him to feel what I felt and nabuwisit na rin ako,” he told a Manila-based radio station in an interview. He even justified his action by connecting it to what happened during the elections campaign where his supporters in the mountain barangays were threatened and strafed by the police, accusing his political opponents to be behind it.
His only valid justification was that most of the items belonged to him and he partly spent for the renovation of the office with the help of some of his friends. He did not mention that Labella’s lawyers intervened. He even challenged Labella to file charges against him, saying he is willing to face it.
City Legal Officer Rey Gealon denied Osmeña’s claim, saying he and Casas did not intervene as there was no effort from Osmeña’s camp to restore the office.
The City Legal office had filed criminal and administrative charges against Osmeña before the Office of the Visayas Ombudsman.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is also conducting an investigation into the matter and also vowed to file charges against the “has-been mayor.”
And now he offered to restore everything, saying it was his original intention to restore it to its 2016 status?
Who are you trying to fool, Mr. Osmeña? The Cebuanos? We know already your real character. You are a type of person who does not need attention and respect.
It’s too late, Mr. Osmeña, to redeem your shattered image.
If I were Labella, I will just ignore him.