CEBU

Seares: Those Covid vaccines: a crime but who sues? 'Cancelling' Tomas, Edgar and Mike. Gwen, the T word.

The Short of It

FUSS OVER '50-50' VACCINE

What we know: (1) The FDA or Food and Drug Administration said it has not authorized any Covid-19 vaccines. It will go after distributors of "illegal and unregistered" vaccines, FDA chief Eric Domingo said Monday, December 28.

(2) Many people in the country were already inoculated with China's Sinopharm vaccines, President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday, December 26.

(3) That means, the law was violated and high officials of the land were complicit to the violation. But then who will sue high officials who ordered or allowed the vaccination? Not the FDA.

How about those who submitted to the made-in-China vaccine? They assumed the "50-50" risk ("their personal choice"; "no law against suicide"), unless they, especially the Cabinet secretaries and PSG members, submitted to an order they could not refuse. But then who will be sued and by whom if people die or become ill from the un-approved vaccines?

Cancelling Tomas, Mike, Ed

Other candidates: A Facebook post by a radio broadcaster ruled out these probable candidates in the 2022 Cebu City election for mayor: [1] Tomas Osmeña, multiple-termer mayor -- "sickly and old" (73 next July 26); [2] Edgardo Labella, incumbent mayor, "indecisive"; and [3] Mike Rama, "too much in love with his voice." "Wa nay lain diha"? the broadcaster asked.

There are other mayorables. On the BOPK side, Representative Bebot Abellanosa of the south district might run for mayor, with Councilor Franklyn Ong, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) rep in the City Council, as vice mayor. The other probable bets are former, three-term councilor Margot Osmeña and her husband Tomas who cannot be ruled out despite Margot's reported edict against his return to politics as a candidate.

In the Barug camp, Mayor Labella holds the "equity of the incumbent" unless plain weariness of the job or Mike Rama's persistence to make a comeback would persuade him to skip the next race. Mike is the ubiquitous factor, always in the picture as a probable runner, against the BOPK contender or even Labella himself.

Or Mike might opt for the slot of congressman that Abellanosa will vacate. Three-termer Bebot might decide not to pass on to a son the slot for the seat that has kept him in the House for nine straight years. If Mike chooses to shift forums -- from the City Council as presiding officer to Congress as one among 304 congressmen and congresswomen -- he will have to persuade former councilor Joy Pesquera not to run again (her second, after her loss to Bebot in 2019).

Regarding the broadcaster's reasons for cancelling Tomas, Edgar and Mike, none of those "disabilities" or weaknesses have stopped voters not to vote for them. Cebuanos have repeatedly sent them back to City Hall -- unless they'd set a new bar: their performance during the pandemic.

Gwen 'reviled, praised'

Using the 'T' word: In one of her recent press conferences from Cebu Capitol -- when she talked about the Carmen Copper landslide, the president's policy on Covid-19, among others -- Governor Gwen Garcia said about being "both reviled and praised" and not caring anymore about what people would say. And she slipped in the Cebuano self-deprecating phrase "Tiguwang na ko."

It was obviously an aside, a parenthetical detour, a put-down aimed to support her unconcern about criticisms on policy or official behavior.

When she said the "T" word, her supporters must have quickly looked at the screen on phone, tablet or PC -- and were totally unconvinced.

VFA, visas; what's the dif?

Element of threat: The US Government struck back at Filipino officials who are suspected of violating human rights and, more recently, harassing journalists. How? By denying the "erring" officials visas to the United States through a provision in separate laws.

President Duterte threatened to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if the US would not deliver 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Grant of visas is the sole prerogative of the US government, which was not among the terms of the VFA. And the vaccines cannot be made a condition in the VFA since they are Pfizer's private property, unless the US government pays for the vaccines or gets it from the federal stock to deliver to us.

Besides, the threat converts the request into some form of blackmail, which is in bad taste to Filipinos, if not the Americans.


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