LONG QUEUES BOTHER RAMA. Who checks on the claim that Veco already restored about half of its electricity service and MCWD 80 percent of its water supply?

One has to take their word. But the Cebu City mayor, with no data of his own, no longer trusts MCWD. Monday, January 10, Mike Rama was reported as publicly chiding MCWD to offer no more excuses. And MCWD's excuse has been Veco, on which the water agency says it depends for delivery of water, especially in the upland barangays.

Veco daily reports the number of households it has "re-energized." As of noon, on the same day Monday: 241,121 out of 474,182 customers, or about halfway in the job, but nobody tells the public when individual or neighborhood suffering from the interrupted service ends.

"Patience, patience," both utility firms ask. Somebody should talk back, what have customers been for the last two weeks except being patient?

Mayor Rama has the optics as proof against MCWD: Look at the queues, he said.

People who see politics in Rama's move wonder how MCWD board chairman Joey Daluz, an avowed Rama supporter, will take the indirect potshot at him.

PS AND BS. The media releases labeled "Public Statement" (PS) from the Office of the Cebu City Mayor provide a familiar diet, almost daily, of declarations, appeals and bits of advice from Mayor Mike Rama.

In the Monday, January 10, PS, the mayor urged citizens "to do all your best," focus on "household protection," be always ready ("laging handa"), stay at home ("puyo lang gyod kanunay"), stock up on essentials, especially medicines, thermometer and oximeter, and "labi sa tanan," seek the help of Sto. Niño. the "Mahal nga Birhen," and San Pedro Calungsod. Not the first time for most subjects taken up in the Daily Messaging.

It is his pulpit, from which flow a steady stream of pep talk, often repetitive, apparently for effect. It is not known how his constituents view that pulpit. A critic or two were heard calling it BS instead of PS. Could be unfair to the well-intentioned enterprise, on which Mayor Mike must spend a lot of time in writing, or correcting.

FACTOR/S AGAINST DURANO. Broadcaster Jason Monteclar, in a 12-minute slice of a commentary under his The Not So Late-Night Show label, gave a reason Ace Durano cannot beat his rival, reelectionist Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia: He and his running mate Vice Governor Junjun Davide support different candidates for president.

Ace backs Bongbong Marcos, while Junjun roots for Leni Robredo. If they cannot even agree on the choice of president, how can Ace convince voters, Jason says, to vote to make him governor?

That, to be sure, is not the only argument that a forecast for a Gwen win in the province elections, except for an unlikely epic stunner of an upset by Ace.

Other "facts" cited by other Garcia-landslide forecasters:

[1] Garcia has the support of more town mayors and district representatives than her competitor. The standard indicator of which towns and districts will go to which candidate shows a lopsided dominance of Gwen supporters.

[2] The incumbent enjoys the edge of not just having the government resources. In this election, the incumbent controls more of the resources because of the two-year-old pandemic and the recent super-typhoon.

[3] Governor Garcia, as the governor presiding over the fight against the twin crisis, has been actively engaged in helping constituents across the province, which, labeled or not as campaigning, in effect is campaigning, with vast opportunity of winning and keeping votes. The season is a politician's dream, if the means and chances of wooing voters without running afoul of Comelec and the election laws are considered.

[4] Durano's major reason for challenging incumbent Gwen is her alleged mishandling of the Covid crisis. He has not yet offered, or been given the forum, to prove that the governor bungled Capitol's response to the crisis.

That is true of the province politics as well as in other races in Cebu. No one is rating, or showing how the rating ought to be done, to assess the performance of the incumbent. It appears that many voters just look at the help they and their neighbors have received from the governor or mayor. The basis, it would seem, is the "ayuda," not the direct response to the virus.


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