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Personal validation

By: Editorial December 12,2016 - 08:11 PM


Exactly what reason is behind former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama’s challenge to Mayor Tomas Osmeña to take a drug test with him last Saturday remains the stuff of speculations of a local sort.

After being identified as an alleged coddler of drug lords by President Rodrigo Duterte, the former mayor has seen his political stock tumble to low levels, and any remnant of his influence in City Hall can perhaps be seen in his Team Rama bloc.

Aside from Duterte’s public announcement of his alleged links, Rama’s drug test challenge may have been spurred by the initial drug test result of Busay Barangay Chairman Amilo Lopez, who supposedly tested positive for drug use.

Though Lopez was eventually cleared after the confirmatory test showed he tested negative for drug use, the damage to his reputation was considerable, and demands for an apology from Dr. Alice Utlang, chief of the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap), were not forthcoming.

In taking the drug test, Rama may be showing some solidarity with Lopez, a Team Rama loyalist, as well as taking an opportunity to defend himself from accusations by Osmeña that he is allegedly taking drugs.

During his tenure as mayor, Rama could have easily defused any doubts and doused cold water on allegations that he is a drug lord coddler by accepting Osmeña’s challenge for him to take a random drug test, and by cracking down on drug dealers, like Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz whose home base in Barangay Duljo Fatima remained untouched during his watch.

But Rama didn’t think then it was worth his time to do so, thinking that the drug test challenge thrown at him by Osmeña last year were the rantings of a “political has-been” who had his time in the sun and is merely looking for some political mileage.

Besides, Rama was confident then that his chosen presidential candidate, then vice president Jejomar Binay, would win the 2016 elections, and a double victory for him and Binay would mean the end to those accusations as well.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and that double victory turned into twin losses and a triple whammy for Rama when Duterte publicly named him as an alleged drug lord protector.

With no patron in the national scene to look up to for political and monetary support and several hardy loyalists in his corner, one is tempted to ask if there is any value to Rama’s drug test challenge to Mayor Osmeña aside from his own validation and vindication.

Now that it’s over and done with, Rama can perhaps resume his own efforts to seek an audience with President Duterte and somehow convince him that he isn’t the drug lord coddler he is made out to be.

Only through President Duterte clearing him publicly of these accusations can Rama somehow regain his reputation and his political and personal standing to Cebu City residents.

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TAGS: Busay, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, COSAP, drug use, drugs, illegal drug trade, illegal drugs, Jaguar, mayor, Michael Rama, Mike Rama, Osmeña, Rodrigo Duterte, Tomas, Tomas Osmeña, Tommy Osmeña

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