Friday, July 30, 2021

Briones: Something’s brewing at Cebu City Hall

On the go

I don’t know where I was when the news broke.

I probably was still too busy trying to figure out Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama’s cryptic message to Mayor Edgardo Labella.

But yes, I woke up one day to discover that our very own City Hall has a witch, if it’s a girl, or a warlock, if it’s a boy. Either way, the word City Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid used was “ungo,” which, come to think of it, is non-gender specific. Unless I am wrong. (Please put your comment below.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much details. As I said, I had been too invested in the drama that was unfolding between Rama and Labella that I had little time for anything else.

Fortunately, I found and read former SunStar Cebu editor-in-chief Pachico A. Seares’ Explainer, which, ah, explains the latest controversy hounding the City Government.

I know.

We are in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic and cases have been increasing at an alarming rate in the past few weeks. Although I shouldn’t say “alarming” since I don’t want to be accused of being an alarmist.

And let’s not forget the economic mess we’re in. We all know that tax collections have been down, which is only understandable. Many people are out of a job since months of lockdown to prevent the disease from spreading have resulted in many establishments going out of business.

With all those problems and with so many of our fellow Cebuanos struggling to put food on their tables or keep a roof over their heads, I thought our City Government would have its hands full.

I guess I was wrong.

I have to give it to Mabatid. She has done what many could only hope for and that is take the mike away from Mike, figuratively speaking.

It’s no easy feat, I tell you. But the lady legislator has managed to divert the issue away from our mayor’s health despite Rama’s demand — is that too strong a word? — for a full disclosure.

But hey, at least it’s not Covid this and Covid that. Because it does get old, you know.

Rama and Mabatid have reminded us that there are other things out there that are far more interesting than a highly infectious but not so fatal disease that has wreaked havoc on people’s lives and the country’s economy.

So what is this “ungo” affair?

Well, apparently, and I am quoting THE Seares, “an unelected and un-appointed person” has been calling the shots at City Hall “on hiring and firing of personnel and purchase of anti-Covid goods and services” in the mayor’s absence.

It is this “shadowy figure” whom Mabatid calls “ungo.”

Hmm. Unelected. Un-appointed. Oh, she means....


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