DON'T tell me nobody warned you that something like this will happen. The “Big Q” (as in the big quarrel) between Mayor Michael Rama and his political patron, former mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, isn’t on yet but recent developments indicate we might get to that stage soon.
The trigger? It won’t be Rama taking control of South Road Properties (SRP) affairs over Osmeña. I doubt if Rama has any interest in that largely vacant piece of property. The trigger would be one closer to the mayor’s heart: him refusing to heed Osmeña’s diktat on dealing with ex-councilor Jocelyn Pesquera.
The Osmeñas (Tomas and his wife, now City Councilor Margot) don’t hide their dislike for Joy, an uncontrollable entity.
To Pesquera was attributed that short-lived attempt by the Rama-headed Cebu City Council to portray itself as a body independent of Osmeña in 2006-2007. Margot’s beef with Pesquera, though, is mainly personal.
With Rama as mayor, the Osmeñas probably hoped (some say this was one of Tomas’s conditions in choosing him as Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan standard-bearer) that Pesquera won’t dip her finger into City Hall affairs. The controversy involving the Mayor’s Management Team (MMT) proves this is not happening.
I think there is more to the claimed demoralization of close to 80 MMT people than just their complaint that Pesquera told them during interviews that some of them may be demoted or their services terminated. What obviously caused the resentment was the presence of Pesquera herself.
Contrary to the popular perception, Pesquera is more than just Rama’s girlfriend. She is an accountant and a lawyer, which means she is no ordinary intellect. She is therefore both a lover to Rama and an adviser on certain aspects of governance.
That’s a very powerful bond, if you ask me.
If there is, therefore, one Osmeña diktat that Rama will resist vehemently, it is declaring Pesquera persona non grata at City Hall for the duration of his term as mayor. I am sure that, if given the choice, Rama would rather defy Osmeña’s wishes than sever his personal and other ties to Pesquera. Meaning, she will continue to stay by his side.
But I doubt if Osmeña will push Rama to choose between him and Pesquera. He knows the political situation in the city more than anybody else and thus can differentiate the calculated from the foolhardy decision. The most that he will do is to publicly criticize Pesquera and, to a certain extent, Rama, but in the end will let the mayor be because he does not want the “Big Q” to erupt this early in the ballgame.
Still, Rama is in a better position now to assert his position on certain issues than when he was still vice mayor and very dependent on Osmeña to achieve his ambition of becoming mayor.
He is mayor now. Even if he quarrels with his political patron, he will remain mayor of the city. The most that Osmeña can do is to let loose his people in the City Council on Rama. The damage won’t be that much.
With the mayor defending his decision to solicit Pesquera’s “ideas” and “guidance” on human resources matters, it would be interesting to find out how Osmeña’s loyalists in the City Council will react. Some of Pesquera’s “ideas” will have to pass the legislative body for approval. How will, for example, Councilor Margot Osmeña vote?
Still two weeks into Rama’s stint as mayor and things have become interesting fast.
(email@example.com/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)