Briones: Word war in Cebu City

Publio J. Briones III
Publio J. Briones III

I guess the public can sit back and enjoy the word war between Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and his erstwhile ally Jose Daluz III, former Cebu City councilor and current chairman of one of two boards at the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.

It’s not often that we get to have a ringside seat to the verbal acrobatics of seasoned public servants.

This early on in the campaign -- and I’m not talking about politics -- I’d have to give the advantage to the Rama camp.

Why?

Well, are any of you familiar with the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”? Because it would appear that Rama has an invincible armor that deflects verbal attacks.

He’s offended, he would say. But somehow I don’t believe it. The mayor has an air about him; a certain je ne sais quoi. Growing up popular may have something to do with it.

Let’s face it, with his height and good looks, he must have turned many heads in his youth. I also heard he always had people following him, some sort of an entourage, or sycophants. It depends how you look at it. Either way, he is used to getting what he wants.

I am just presuming, and I could be wrong, but these factors would explain the mayor’s bottomless well of confidence, short of braggadocio.

So Rama doesn’t care what other people say about him. And why should he? In his own words, “... but sorry, I am still the mayor.”

Daluz recently described the mayor as “toxic,” and called on the latter to step down. His reason? He said Rama has made many enemies.

Well, surprise, surprise! And all along I thought politicians got along with everyone.

Rama has always been known to stick to his guns. No matter what. After all, he calls the shots at the City Hall. That’s why people elected him mayor.

But before you accuse me of being a Rama apologist, I am not.

In fact, I don’t agree with some of his policies. Or his antics. I mean, seriously, the singing and the dancing have got to stop. And no more rigmaroles, please.

But I also can’t argue that Rama and his administration have implemented unpopular projects that later turned out to be very beneficial to the community.

I remember when they dug up J. Urgello St. in Barangay Sambag 1 to install giant culverts during his second term as mayor. (I think that was then.) Residents complained. Many businesses were affected.

The inconvenience lasted for months.

But lo and behold, when the project was completed, residents no longer had to worry about flooding.

Anyway, if Daluz really wanted to take a good dig at the mayor, he should try harder and come up with something meatier. Something that the public would lap up with relish.

I was expecting him to hurl allegations of corruption. Perhaps, reveal some skeletons in the mayor’s closet.

But he didn’t, and he hasn’t and I don’t think he will. Perhaps Daluz is afraid that if he does, he will be opening a can of worms.

Et tu, Jose?

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