CEBU

Bzzzzz: Cebu City intends to order P100M each for Covovax and AstraZeneca. John-John Osmeña discovers 'generosity' of dad Sonny. Duterte's 'tungo' and Harry's 'bakasyon'

Photo from Senate of the Philippines’ Facebook page

PEOPLE talk about...

[1] PRESIDENT WISHING ROBREDO DEAD. Senator Leila de Lima says that President Rodrigo Duterte's remark addressed to Vice President Leni Robredo Monday, March 1, "Mamatay ka na" is "vile and evil" and is "no joke." The senator's comment is contained in a handwritten Dispatch from Crame #1039 and dated March 3, 2021.

The President's death wish on his VP was a one-liner in a paragraph of criticisms that included such whiplashes as "you want to be relevant," "sometimes...idiotic stance," and "anak ng p..."

The Palace stood by the "tungo," the Cebuano-Bisaya word for wishing ill on one's un-friend, and the rest of what the president said.

[2] ROQUE'S 'VACATION' REMARK. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque apologized for his comment that people didn't have to complain about the removal of additional 30 percent pay for All Souls’ Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve, since "Filipinos have been on an extended vacation for a year now."

The apology followed the flak over his remark, which many netizens called insensitive. "It's not really a vacation but rather a failure to earn a living," he stepped back.

Talks to set vaccine prices

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella Wednesday, March 3, issued for the City Government a letter of intent to buy from Covovax/Faberco and AstraZeneca P100 million worth of anti-Covid-19 vaccines each firm.

The City Council followed that with an authorization, given the same day on its regular session, for the mayor to negotiate with the said firms. The talks that Labella is authorized to conduct will fix the price and other terms in the supply agreement.

The Sanggunian also asked IATF and Department of Health or the agencies distributing the Sinovac vaccines to apply to Cebu City Government health workers the remaining unused vials from the Vicente Sotto hospital inoculation.

John-John on dad's generosity

John Gregory "John-John" Osmeña, who spoke for the late senator-congressman-city mayor-vice mayor John Henry "Sonny" Osmeña at the necrological service in the Senate Thursday, March 4, spoke about something that he said he never knew and his dad never told him.

It was about Sonny's "generosity and kindness" toward others, the son said of his father. (The older Osmeña died February 2 at 86. John-John attended the City Council service for his dad last February 10. He had dropped by Cebu City and Toledo City before going to Negros.)

John-John, speaking at the Senate rites, cited an incident when his dad dropped by a hospital in Negros to consult a doctor because he was not feeling well. Sonny wandered in the hospital and came upon a pregnant woman whom someone told him needed help. Sonny, John-john said, had the woman attended to, paying for all her expenses ("blank check").

Ferliza Contratista, the late ex-senator's publicist in Cebu, told Bzzzzz: "(Sonny) found her in a dark room with blood dripping after doctors gave up on her. He had her flown via chopper" to, Ferliza was not sure, Cebu or Manila. Contratista said the woman could be the wife of Sonny's trusted man in Negros and the child grew up to serve as one of the senator's aides in the last two years.

Senate President Tito Sotto spoke after the Senate resolution lauding Sonny's services to the nation was read, ending his speech in Cebuano-Bisaya: "Manamilit na mi kanimo. Hangtod sa pagkita nato pag-usab" (Goodbye. Until we meet again.)

'An Osmeña always'

Senator Sotto spoke not just of the political life of Sonny, with whom he worked in at least two Congresses, but also of the family of Osmeñas. There was no phase in the history of the country that an Osmeña was not present in the building and re-building. There always was, yes (from Don Sergio to Serging, Sonny and Serge, to Lito and Tomas), but not anymore.

Always, until starting 2019, this Congress and this term of local officials. Sonny for congressman, Cerge for senator, and Tomas for city mayor were all routed in the same 2019 election. There is Councilor Junjun Osmeña, son of former vice mayor Renato Osmeña Sr. in the Cebu City Council but no one else. (Mayor Edgardo Labella appointed Junjun last November 29, 2017 to the seat left by resigned city councilor Nendell Hanz Labella. Junjun ran in 2019 and landed #6.)

Senator Sotto, who prides himself as a Cebuano mostly during election seasons, has not actually struck kinship with Cebuanos, the way they felt they had with Cebuano-born and Cebuano-raised national politicians.

As Cebuanos see it, there is no more Cebuano in the Senate or in President Duterte's high-level Cabinet.

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