CEBU

Malilong: Cult politics

The Other Side

THE Cebu City Charter Day celebrations in the past were mostly long on praise of the past but very short on plans for the future. I hope Mayor Edgar Labella will veer away from the stereotype when he delivers his first Charter Day message as city mayor tonight at a function room of an uptown hotel.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against extolling the lives and accomplishments of past Cebuano leaders for their contribution to the establishment and the development of the city. We owe them big time and we cannot thank them enough.

But at the same time, a charter day celebration should be less about who made the city than about how the city has since become and what the future holds for her. The persons are important but they are peripheral, not the cornerstone of Cebu City’s being.

Besides, a leader cannot afford to dwell on the past forever. He has a present to take care of and a future to plan for. His administration will not be measured by how faithfully he has adhered to what his predecessors had done during their time but by how he is able to read and meet what needs to be done now and the years thereafter. It is called vision.

I hope that tomorrow, the mayor will not allow himself to become an accomplice to the perpetuation of cult politics and that while he should not forget to say thank you to the city’s past leaders, he will devote his time to reporting what he has done and plans to do since he last reported his plans and accomplishments during his first 100 days.

Please talk about housing, trees, monorails and the Bus rapid transit, garbage, water, education and peace and order, among others, Mayor. That’s what the people want to hear from you.

***

Shabu again? P70 million worth confiscated by the police in a matter of three days?

Some people do not seem to fear the police anymore. Either that or they value quick money more than their lives.

If you have noticed, there has been a decline in the incidence of drug killings in the past few months. Police operations have almost always resulted in arrests, not deaths except in the case of a policeman who was gunned down when a drug bust went wrong.

I thought that the police would go on a warpath to avenge their fallen colleague but they have admirably exercised restraint. But for how long? The continued traffic in illegal drugs cannot but be interpreted as a defiance.

You cannot taunt the police for so long without being made to pay.

When that happens, drug merchants cannot complain that they have not been sufficiently warned.

***

I got my first paycheck from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District and I am happy to report that it was not enough to buy a simple breakfast for my Walk and Talk friends at the roofdeck of the spanking new Yello Hotel in Lahug. I ended up borrowing money from my wife.

It is not true that MCWD directors get fat salaries and bonuses. We only get a few thousand pesos per diem for every board meeting actually attended and we cannot meet more than twice a month. Of course, I am not complaining. I’m just setting the record straight. It’s not about the money but how we can help address the need for water in every home.


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