Espinoza: Close the dump site

HOW should one defend an indefensible issue? Do it in style with rhetoric.

Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors defended with rhetoric the call by Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera to close again the landfill in Barangay Inayawan because of health issues. The landfill is close to a university and some commercial establishments inside the South Road Properties (SRP).

In short, the BOPK councilors, in defending the call of the City Council majority to close the Inayawan landfill, gave more value to money than to the health of the students and residents.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña stopped the disposal of the city’s garbage to a landfill in Consolacion town because it was allegedly very expensive. So, he ordered the reopening of the Inayawan landfill even before environmental requirements could be complied with.

Former mayor Mike Rama ordered the closure of the Inayawan landfill not only because the residents complained of the stench from the facility but also because commercial establishments are already sprouting at the SRP.

Years before Rama was the mayor, Mayor Osmeña ordered then councilor Jun Pe to mitigate the stench from the landfill when Bigfoot’s Michael Gleissner, Mayor Tommy’s friend and the first locator at the SRP, complained of the stink from the dump site.

During his second term, former mayor Rama wanted to sell some of the lots in the SRP to fund the city’s projects but the BOPK councilors, who were then the majority in the City Council, blocked it.

But with good “maneuvering,” former mayor Rama's plan was approved by the city councilors. The approval and sale of the SRP lots led to the filing of a case against Rama and the city councilors.

Mayor Osmeña’s first announcement after his proclamation as winner over re-electionist Rama in the last elections was that he would recover the lots that Rama’s administration sold to the consortium of Ayala Land and SM Properties, and Filinvest Land, Inc.

The way things are going, it is apparent that Mayor Osmeña is hell bent on recovering the SRP lots. Because he could not do it through legislation since the BOPK is now the minority in the City Council, the reopening of the Inayawan landfill could perhaps do the trick.

But I don’t think Mayor Tomas is only after revenge, as everyone knows he is arrogant and a vengeful man. As he said time and again, he loves Cebu City more than anyone else, so I suppose that he would rethink his decision on the Inayawan landfill for health reasons.

The Inayawan dump site is now misplaced if not irrelevant in this area because there are now locators and commercial establishments at the SRP. But if Mayor Tomas is blinded by his unfathomable objective on the SRP, then no one can stop him with his imprudent decision.

If Mayor Tomas remains hardheaded and continue using the Inayawan dumpsite, the residents and the students could go to court and file a petition for the closure of the dump site and prevent Mayor Osmeña and the City Government from using it.

***

President Rodrigo Duterte had to eat back his words after he called US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” (putang ina) during a press briefing at the Davao City airport before he took off for Laos to attend the Asean Summit. That resulted to the cancellation by Obama of their bilateral talks on the sideline of the meeting.

The regret did not, however, come out from the horse’s mouth because it was Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella that separately read President Duterte’s statement to the members of the international press.

Again, the media was blamed for the President’s “putang ina” expletives that his minions call his expression of frustration that was not perhaps directed at President Obama. They said the press misunderstood his emotions.

I can understand that President Duterte is still in the adjustment period from being mayor of Davao City to what his critics call “mayor” of the Philippines. Being a lawyer and politician for several years, Duterte knows that, as president, he should act not as mayor but as a statesman who represents our country in international events.

The United States of America, the most powerful country in the world, is our country’s long-time ally. I know President Duterte didn't mean to bully President Obama. He was only misled by that question from the press.

While the international community and most of the discerning Filipinos were stunned by President Duterte’s bad words against Obama, leftists or the anti-Americans cheered him to their heartfelt delight.

I read the transcript of that press briefing that Rappler News posted. It seems President Duterte didn’t get the meat of the question that his answer was somehow off tangent. And, hearing the words extrajudicial killings, that easily angered him.
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