MINUS 'SALBAHIS.' The word "animal," as in the name of the government agency "Bureau of Animal Industry," is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable. In Cebuano-Bisaya and Spanish, its language of origin, the stress is on the last syllable: "an-i-MAL," with full, heavy thud on the "A" sound.

Visayans use animal as a medium expletive and usually add to its sting the word's usual companion, "salbahis," thus: "Animal! Salbahis!"

Which was how Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia pronounced "Animal" each time she mentioned "Bureau of Animal Industry" Monday, April 3 (2023), at a Capitol press conference. Minus the "salbahis."

"Animal" in Cebuano could be a term of endearment, like: "He stood me up but, 'ang animal,' he later sent me chocolates and flowers." Guv Gwen's serial "animal" references to BAI though were not.

She spent Monday's press-con mostly on her accusation against, and condemnation of, the protocols imposed by BAI and the conduct of its officials in response to the reported break-out of ASF (for African swine fever) in some towns in Cebu province.


WHAT KIND OF LITTLE MAYOR? City Administrator Suzanne Omandam Ardosa has been replaced by Secretary to the Mayor Collin Rosell. Ardosa, who was overseer of the vice mayor's office, when she assumed as acting city administrator in November 2021, has been reassigned to the Department of Manpower Development and Placement (DMDP).

A return or comeback for Ardosa. She heads once again the post she occupied before she became then vice mayor Mike Rama's office manager and, later up to the new reshuffle, his acting city administrator.

A big leap for Atty. Rosell. From secretary, who keeps records and drafts documents, he's now the city manager who theoretically runs -- and may actually run -- City Hall for the chief executive.

The city administrator vets proposals on policies and brokers each business, cuts down layers of bureaucracy and untangles knots of governance. He can, if allowed, crisscross paths in the maze that's the City Government, to solve never-ending problems, such as, not getting work done on time, or not at all, despite the glut of workers, which, to recall, was the main campaign thrust of Barug's political rival BOPK in 2022. At least on paper and per public perception of his job, the city administrator holds that job description. He can do a lot or little, depending upon how much power the mayor will allow him to wield.

Rosell can be the Little Mayor or Mayor #2 who'll make a lot of difference, the problem solver, the oil on the machines, the miracle worker. Or just a "right-hand man" or glorified gofer largely behind the mayor's bulk or shadow.


'I'M AN ELECTED COUNCILOR.' AT least three times since last July (2022), Majority Floor Leader Nestor Archival Sr. would respond to comment from a colleague -- which he'd see as a move to cut him short -- with a sharp-sounding retort, like "Why stop me? I'm a member of the City Council."

In those occasions, the interruption is usually about rules of procedure, which either the presiding officer or the majority floor leader would like to follow for efficiency.

So far, the near-outbursts haven't resulted into fireworks. Archival's colleagues in the majority must have seen they can bear with the occasional almost-eruptions. As the dominant force in the Cebu City Sanggunian, they get almost anything they want anyway.


ARREST WARRANT MAY NOT BRING TEVES BACK. Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr., accused of masterminding the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, insists he is not a fugitive but indicates, through his lawyer, he'll become one once a warrant for his arrest is issued.

That's the first part of the script he obviously copies from former senator Ping Lacson.

The next part is when, as a fugitive by then, Teves eludes arrest while he continues with his legal proceedings. Lacson went into hiding in 2016, later waving, after the warrant was terminated, a 2006 Supreme Court decision that supposedly allows the court process to go on even if the accused person is not under physical custody.

'99% SOLVED'; 'HIGHEST MASTERMIND.' The Arnie Teves camp quipped about the claimed percentage in the solution of the case. They said the congressman's alleged part in the murder of Governor Degamo might be just small -- a mere one percent -- as Teves's role would seem to be the remaining "loose end."

As to "highest mastermind," why there are four to five masterminds has puzzled crime story fans. Usually, there's only one mastermind, who for his motive and resources to order the crime, is considered the brains. The rest would be just foot soldiers and hit-squad leaders.