PRESIDENT Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, in his inaugural speech, said “Kayo ang boss ko.” Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, on the other hand, said “Ako ang boss.”

Mike also chided his detractors on the hiring and appointment of personalities to help him run the affairs of City Hall, saying it is his prerogative.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

This, following a report that former city councilor Jocelyn “Joy” Pesquera, Mike’s reported lover, has been interfering in City Hall affairs, ostensibly under the mayor’s instructions.

Joy has reportedly been meeting with employees of former mayor Tomas Osmeña’s Mayor’s Management Team (MMT). Joy told MMT members that the team will be abolished and some of its members will either be fired or transferred to other departments, with a lower salary and position. Joy’s move irked the MMT staff, and some of them complained to the media.

This triggered Mike’s gag order on department heads.

Who is Joy at City Hall to come up with such decisions? Was she requested by Mike? But before addressing the MMT issue, she could have asked Mike for an official appointment, not a verbal order, so her actions won’t be questioned.

From what I have gathered, Joy’s appointment as a consultant assigned to the City Council expired last June 30.

So what is her official designation at City Hall? In a published report yesterday, Mike said he is going to retain Joy as consultant for the council, systems improvement, budget and finance and local and international relations. Okay, fine.

But that needs another official appointment that will be confirmed by the City Council.

I am not questioning Joy’s qualifications because she is highly qualified for any position. But her designation should be made official so she will also be accountable for whatever actions she will undertake in helping the Rama administration. 

Personally, though, I don’t think Mike should give Joy any position at City Hall out of delicadeza. Their relationship is known to Cebuanos. Public office is a public trust and should not be run as a family corporation.

Earlier, Mike said he would not appoint or employ any relative at City Hall. Yes, Joy is not yet a Rama. She is still a Pesquera.

But her special relationship with Mike can influence the decision of the mayor. She is a potential power broker and influence peddler at City Hall.

Kung gugma na gani maoy maghari sa galamhan sa usa ka tawo bisan pa ang pinakagamhanan nga tawo sa tibuok kalibutan, malukmay gayod. Daghan kaayo ug mga panultihon kabahin sa gugma. Bisan ang mga bukid akong latason, ang dagat akong languyon ug ang mga bitoon sa kalangitan akong dughiton ug pupu-on tungod ug alang sa akong guma kanimo. Believe you me, Mister Mike. I’m also a man who has fallen in love.

But let me be clear on this issue. I am not questioning the romance of Mike and Joy.

That’s their personal lives. Wala’y labot ang syudad ana.  Like ordinary mortals, they are entitled to fall in love. But what I am pointing out here is the interference of Joy in City Hall affairs, even without official and formal designation to do so.

Former mayor and Congressman Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) was right in saying that during his stint at City Hall, former first lady and now Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña never interfered in his function. See that, Mr. Mike. Take it from your mentor.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)