WHILE Cebu City Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña turned down the invitation to join the Super Beautification Council (SBC), her husband Rep. Tomas Osmeña said the body is designed to bypass the Parks and Playgrounds Commission (PPC).
The congressman expressed disappointment yesterday over the explanation of Mayor Michael Rama that SBC will focus on beautifying the city’s sidewalks, saying a “super” body is above everything else.
“Palihug lang, maybe you can fool the people, no? But do not fool me! That’s a super body unya sidewalk ra?” Rep. Osmeña said.
The congressman, who served as city mayor, said it’s the function of the PPC to beautify the city. He earlier asked the officers of PPC to resign after he learned Rama bypassed the commission, which is headed by Councilor Nida Cabrera.
This, after Rama announced the creation of SBC and appointed businesswoman and defeated Bogo City mayoral candidate Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung to head the council.
Rep. Osmeña questioned the appointment of Yeung, who is a close friend of his political adversary Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
Yeung earlier said she accepted the post for the love of Cebu and invited Councilor Osmeña and Jobel Davide, wife of defeated gubernatorial candidate and former Cebu City councilor Hilario Davide III, to join the council.
But Councilor Osmeña said being in the PPC is enough.
“I don’t think it is necessary. Why do I have to join when I’m already in the commission?” she said in a phone interview yesterday.
Councilor Osmeña said the focus of the beautification body is only the sidewalks on Osmeña Blvd., while the PPC covers the whole city.
Jobel said she is honored by the invitation but she will have to discuss the matter with her husband.
Yeung said after Rama’s announcement, she received calls from both prominent and ordinary wives, expressing their intention to join the cause to beautify the city.
"A lot of women have called," she told Sun.Star Cebu in a phone interview.
Despite Rep. Osmeña’s objections, Yeung said she accepted the challenge because of her love for Cebu.
Yeung said she received feedback from her friends, both from Cebu and abroad, that the city is not that clean.
"They know Mike is close to me. They talked to me," Yeung added.
The governor commended Rama for appointing Yeung to head the committee because she has "exquisite and elegant taste."
Rep. Osmeña reiterated Yeung is not qualified to head the SBC since she is not a resident of the city and she lacks experience in beautification.
But Rama defended Yeung, saying her move to tap the businesswoman is part of his “spider web approach” in managing the city.
Osmeña said Rama and Garcia are entitled to defend Yeung but said the appointment is an insult to the commission.
He also said he doesn’t see any connection between Rama and Yeung except that the latter is a client of former city councilor Jocelyn Pesquera.
The former city councilor admitted she is Yeung’s lawyer but denied she endorsed the businesswoman to head the SBC.