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Mayor Esgana found his match

By: Atty. Ruphil Bañoc May 04,2017 - 10:32 PM



It is somewhat ironic that an “arrogant” high-ranking public official who figured in some controversies and is perceived as a strong, fearless, powerful and unstoppable ruler in his place now cries like a child after interpreting as “threats” a vague statement of another influential man.

Mayor Jose Esgana of Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu who was served last year with a suspension from the Ombudsman Visayas for being “arrogant,” and who just showed he is unstoppable after insisting to hold an “Isla Music Festival” simultaneously with the Holy Week despite community protests, has finally found a similar heavyweight match (katapat) in the person of Mayor Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City.

Esgana called for a press conference after he requested the police to blotter the alleged incident last Saturday inside Marriott Hotel. He narrated that when he went to the hotel for a separate appointment, he spotted Mayor Osmeña who was with his friend Alex Tan, the owner of Island Shipping whose vessels travel from mainland Cebu to Bantayan Island.

Esgana said that knowing Osmeña as a fellow member in the Liberal Party, he decided to approach him. But Tan allegedly pointed at him while telling Osmeña that he is the mayor of Santa Fe town. Thereafter, Osmeña told him “bantay-bantay lang ka ha” which means “you watch out” or “be careful” in English.

Such statement was interpreted by Esgana as a threat. So he decided to settle his bill and leave the hotel quickly. He admitted that he hurriedly went home to Santa Fe because of fear.

Osmeña, for his part, denied the allegations of Esgana. He further said that he was not armed or was with a bodyguard at that time. He instead called Esgana a “bully.”

As of now, while the respective allegations are between Esgana’s words and Osmeña’s, I cannot just imagine what ordinary persons can comment on the latest development, especially the ordinary employee of a shipping company and an apprentice who once experienced being threatened and bullied by Esgana.

As per record of the Santa Fe Sangguniang Bayan minutes no. 10-2017, which was taken during the regular session of the Municipal Council last March 13, 2017, it showed how powerful Mayor Esgana can be in implementing what he wants without consulting other officials. It appears that Esgana is like a dictator who is unstoppable in implementing what he wants.

I cannot just imagine the feelings of the tourism officers in his town who used to be consulted and informed in any tourism-related activities during Holy Week but recently treated as nonexistent by Mayor Esgana when he held the Isla Music and Food Festival.

I cannot just imagine the feelings of the two priests, Fr. Roy Bucag of Roman Catholicism and Fr. Mariano Carabio of Aglipay church, who sincerely pleaded to Mayor Esgana to move the Isla Music Festival after the solemn celebration of the Holy Week only to be unceremoniously ignored.

The foregoing incidents prompted me to remember a story or a joke about a small boy, a bully and a bigger boy. The story goes this way:

Bully boy: Hey, small boy, I want you to always respect me and vow to me. Do you see the tattoo on my breast?

Small boy : Yes, sir, I see it.

Bully boy : Do you know what it is?

Small boy : It’s a bird.

Bully boy : It’s not an ordinary bird. Take note, it’s an eagle!

Small boy : Yes, sir, that’s an eagle

Bully boy : What about the tattoo on my back, do you see it?

Small boy : Yes, sir, I see it.

Bully boy : Do you know what it is?

Small boy: It’s a snake sir.

Bully boy: It’s not an ordinary snake, small boy. It is a king cobra! Bear it in mind!

Such conversation was overheard by a bigger boy who was annoyed by the bully’s arrogance. Later on, the bigger boy confronted the bully.

Bigger boy: Let me see your tattoo! You are egotistic! What bird is that, again? Answer me!

Bully boy : (Afraid of the boy’s size and thunderous voice) Ah, eh, small bird, maya bird, boss.

Bigger Boy: And that tattoo on your back, what kind of snake is that, again?

Bully boy: Ah, it’s not a snake boss. It’s an earthworm!

It can be said that the bully boy in the above story reflects the character of Mayor Esgana. He bullied an ordinary ship employee and an apprentice of Island Shipping which prompted the Ombudsman to suspend him after being found administratively guilty. He bullied and threatened a priest for allegedly not securing a permit in conducting a dawn rosary. He acted like an unstoppable bully when he insulted the Catholic faithful by holding a festival during the supposed solemn commemoration of the Holy Week.

However, what a coincidence, or others may call it karma, when his cowardice was obviously exposed by just hearing a vague comment which he interpreted as a threat of another influential politician.

Mr. Webster defined karma as the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose death was supposed to be solemnly commemorated during Holy Week but spoiled by Esgana’s music festival, has taught us to do to others whatever you would like them to do to you (Matt. 7:12).

Our grandparents also taught us to do good things so that we can harvest good karma. Consequently, if one does bad things, one reaps bad karma.

Hopefully, Esgana would realize that karma would just come silently and unexpectedly. There is no advance notice. Cebuanos popularly say it this way: “Ang gaba dili magsaba.”

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TAGS: Esgana, FOUND, match, mayor

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