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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mongaya: Fictitious claimant?

IS ANATALIA Booc, a supposed claimant in the 15-year court case over a P590-million property the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIAA) bought from the Pulvera family in Lapu-Lapu City, fictitious? This possibility arose after a letter the MCIAA sent to Booc was returned to sender.

MCIAA General Manager Paul Villarete said they sent a letter last June 13 to Booc, using the return address PBN Nivel Hills, Cebu City, that she indicated when somebody submitted her supposed claim to the property.

However, the postman returned several times just to look for Booc but no avail.

This development led me to ask the supposed whistleblower Cris Saavedra during the 888 media forum last week if he personally met Booc. Like Saavedra, this supposed claimant entered the picture after the Court of Appeals ruled on the payment. And she is not even a Pulvera heir.

At first Saavedra was evasive. He seemed to suggest he has not met Booc at all. But when I told him about the letter that was returned to sender, Saavedra had a ready answer as if he is in close contact with her.

Booc is in hiding because of threats to her life. But he cannot produce her to back her claim. Wa magtakdo ang imong script, Cris.

While Saavedra kept on insinuating that the MCIAA-Pulvera transaction was fishy, his complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman had no evidence except for a claimant that is likely fictitious. I dare say he is on a fishing expedition. Ang nangisda ray langsi.

***

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will have lots of time to reflect on what has transpired so far and perhaps rethink his moves while he is abroad.

For instance, I don’t agree with his withdrawal of support for the new Cebu City police leadership as a result of a recent revamp.

Yes, the team of police officials that Mayor Osmeña worked with accomplished much in their own version of the anti-drugs war. In fact, the death of Jaguar and Yawa happened even before President Rody Duterte and PNP Chief Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa took their respective oaths.

In a press conference before he left for the US last week, Osmeña said they were already after another drug lord based in the south when the revamp happened.

Many could not fathom why Osmeña felt so bad after Bato replaced his team with a new set of police officers. Of course, Osmeña’s political enemies tried to inject the canard that the mayor is a drug protector, even wishing that President Duterte would name him instead of former mayor Mike Rama.

However, I hope Osmeña would now grant Bato and his police officials the benefit of the doubt. The mayor should take into account the following developments:

Bato has struck hard against the Espinosa gang of Albuera, Leyte. It has been reported here in Cebu even during the height of the election campaign that former mayor Mike Rama had taken the oath of then UNA candidate for mayor Rolando Espinosa, the father of Kerwin who used to be an associate of Jaguar.

A reporter told me that when Osmeña held that press conference shortly before he left for the US, he had on his desk a newspaper that carried a photograph of the controversial Rama-Espinosa oath-taking.

Yesterday dawn, President Duterte read a list of narco-politicians that included one Michael Rama, former mayor of Cebu City.

***

The decision to scrap the Sinulog sa Kabataan is unpopular. But I think Mayor Osmeña is right. We have been holding the Sinulog sa Kabataan amidst the very poor performance of Cebuano students in national aptitude tests.

This is the result of months of Sinulog practice at the expense of education.

Besides, the Sinulog sa Kabataan exposes our kids under the sun two weekends in a row. Maluoy ko magsud-ong sa mga bata. Di man ko kubalon og kasingkasing.

***

Presidential Assistant for Visayas Mike Dino should stop coddling Mike Rama. The fact that Dino brought Rama to attend the State of the Nation Address (Sona) tells a lot about their relationship. Rama had also been telling friends that he is now supporting Duterte through Dino. Rama said he already asked the permission of former vice president Jojo Binay. No wonder, Team Rama councilors and barangay captains are constant fixtures in Dino events.

With Osmeña out of the country, acting mayor Edgar Labella now has a unique opportunity to exercise leadership outside Rama’s fading shadow. Behaving like Rama’s minion now would put Labella’s image as “ligdong” into question.

(@anol_cebu in Twitter)
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