Malilong: Mike should keep mouth shut

DOES former mayor Mike Rama really want Cebu City to remain in the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB)? If he does, he should keep his mouth shut or, better, endorse his successor's decision. He should know by now that what he wants or tells Osmeña to do will drive exactly the opposite behavior.

The MCDB as presently constituted is a loose association bound only by a shared desire to grow in harmony with each other. In this sense, Osmeña's decision to pull out is unfortunate. The old saying about no man being an island holds true even in this modern age. Moreover, it deprives Cebu City of valuable inputs from a more neutral private sector.

The thing to do now is to pass a law creating the Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA). It is lamentable that after all these years and notwithstanding the long-felt need for a body to coordinate the development plans and activities of each member local government unit, Congress has still to act on the bill creating the Mega Cebu.

As it is, we don't even know if the member is the mayor or the LGU. Rama's suggestion (directive?) for Vice Mayor Edgar Labella to sit in the Board representing the city will not achieve anything. In fact, that is something that the MCDCB should avoid if they do not want to exacerbate the situation.

My advice to the vice mayor is to stay out of the picture. The mayor is still alive. He is the one who is authorized to define policy directions. Even if the City Council authorizes him to sit in the Board, what will it and what will he accomplish? Team Rama does not even have the number to override the mayor's veto if and when the need for it arises.

As for Osmeña, in spite of what Rama said, he should revisit his decision to leave the MCDCB. He may not personally like, he probably even despises, the people in or behind the MCDB but other than showing his lack of regard to them, what will his pullout accomplish?

If he finds the MCDB meetings boring, if he considers it beyond his dignity to rub elbows with them, if he can't stand listening to proposals that he thinks are inferior to his plans, or if he simply cannot stand the sight of certain people in the room, why doesn't he simply appoint a representative to the Board? He has as many deputy mayors as there are BOPK councilors, why not name one of them as his representative to the MCDCB? Why? Because listening, they say, is the beginning of all understanding.

***

I read that Cebu businessman Peter Lim got a severe tongue-lashing from President Rodrigo Duterte. True or not, Lim should consider himself lucky. He was able to secure a meeting with Duterte, who gave him a chance to clear himself. How many suspects have died without even being allowed to say, "please let me explain"?

I'm not saying that all these people-- drug suspects--were summarily executed. I am still willing to take as true the claim that the suspects resisted and had to be neutralized.

But the growing number of drug-related killings does raise very serious questions. The people who peddle drugs probably also use them and as a result, their judgment may be clouded. Still, they're not stupid. Considering the hundreds, who fought rather than peacefully gave up and lost their lives as a result, why would anyone even dare resist?

And have you noticed that in almost all, if not all, of the encounters, the police team came out unscathed?

Serious questions, indeed, but nobody wants to ask them. Remember these lines from the poem written by Pastor Martin Niemoller? "First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak for me."

(frankotherside@gmail.com)
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