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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mongaya: Tom hits back

AFTER expressing his desire to seek reconsideration on Napolcom’s deputization, I did not expect Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to hit back. He dared PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and hit back hard at Napolcom 7 Director Homer Cabaral.

Bato had earlier said a trusted police colonel of the mayor received P200,000 from drug lord Franz Sabalones who recently surrendered. The said colonel was reportedly relieved of his duties here and transferred to the ARMM. The mayor’s political enemies used this in smearing the mayor as a drug lord protector.

But Mayor Osmeña dared Bato to name names. As of this writing, the PNP chief has yet to name anybody.

It seems Osmeña noted that while Bato did not name the police colonel, President Rody Duterte included in his Narco-list PNP’s Romeo Santander and former mayor Mike Rama.

Does this mean President Duterte was quite sure in naming Rama and Santander while Bato has still to verify what Sabalones allegedly confessed? Does Osmeña know something even Bato has yet to learn about Sabalones?

Meanwhile, Mayor Osmeña came swinging at Napolcom’s Cabaral. The mayor hit him for doing nothing about his neighbor in Barangay Duljo named Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz.

Cabaral answered by saying lamely, the house of Cong. Bebot Abellanosa is nearer Jaguar’s house. But Bebot has long left Duljo. This was one of the issues raised against him in 2013. Besides, as a senior law enforcer, knowing the activities of his neighbor is Cabaral’s responsibility.

The Napolcom 7 director added that only President Duterte could now reverse the cancellation of the deputization.

I just find it ironic that Osmeña could name Jaguar and Yawa as among the drug lords killed by his aborted campaign but the PNP leadership is picking on him. President Duterte named Rama as protector but apparently no one is going after him.

Ironic too that President Duterte is pushing for federalism which means giving more power to local governments. But Napolcom prefers Imperial Manila style of bullying mayors.

***

The death anniversary of Ninoy Aquino is one memorable day to recall the dark years of the Marcos dictatorship now that the campaign against a hero’s burial of the dictator is heating up. However, Marcos loyalists would simply label as “Yellowtard” those who oppose the burial of the dictator’s body at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Thus, I would rather talk about the hero I personally know, Fr. Rudy Romano. I used to march with him as staff of various anti-Marcos coalitions in the early ‘80s.

Armed men of the dictatorship abducted the Redemptorist priest for being active in the anti-dictatorship movement. Romano is a hero and martyr of the Filipino people.

Fr. Romano could definitely not be lumped with being a “yellow,” something which is derogatory during the time of Duterte. Being branded as Left is also anachronistic during this time when President Duterte releases political prisoners and pushes for the resumption of peace talks with the Communists.

But then, Nene Pimentel who is a founder of Duterte’s political party PDP-Laban was a political detainee here in Cebu during the Marcos dictatorship. He is neither Left nor Yellow. He is now campaigning for federalism today.

***

I am curious whether Cebu City Councilor Jun Alcover, a staunch critic of President Rody Duterte, would join the rest of the erstwhile pro-Binay Team Rama in taking their oaths as members of the ruling PDP-Laban. They will reportedly be joined by erstwhile LP member Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing. The office of Presidential Assistant for Visayas Mike Dino has announced that the oath taking will happen in a few days.

But will this PDP-Laban event have the blessings of the Pimentels? Does the job of presidential assistant include facilitating the oath-taking of political turncoats? Is there an ulterior political agenda?

While 2019 is still three years away, we know the barangay elections are just around the corner, unless of course Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano will have his way. I wonder how many Team Rama barangay captains will soon join Dino and company. Expect a proxy war between Dino’s camp and that of Mayor Osmeña this October. The winner will have more councilors at the City Council.

***

Our editors have encouraged us columnists to interact online with you, my dear readers. I look forward to engaging you at the comment section of this column at the Sun.Star website and in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

(@anol_cebu in Twitter)
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