Thanks Mayor Tom; welcome Mayor Labella

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc May 17,2019 - 06:49 AM

There are two things that I should be thankful for to Mayor Tomas Osmeña. First, for what he has done for Cebu, and second, for showing his sportsmanship by conceding defeat the very night the counting of ballots was still on-going. He led his supporters to be calm.

Prior to the election, I had the chance to interview personally, and one after the other, Mayor Tomas Osmeña and now Mayor- elect Edgar Labella in my Straight to the Point program aired over DYHP RMN Cebu. I appreciate them both for the intellectual discussion and for their desire to serve the Cebuanos.

On the part of Mayor Osmeña, I can say that he is a good manager and a visionary leader. As manager of the city, he has done many things for the Cebuanos. He has been an instrument on big ticket projects implemented not only in Cebu City, but also in the province and even in the neighboring provinces.

For lack of space, I need not enumerate the big things that he has done for Cebu because I understand the Cebuanos are already aware about it. I don’t need to enumerate his long line of positive traits as a leader, but one thing that I appreciate about him so much is his political will to implement policies for the betterment of many. In fact, Labella’s term as mayor would be tested by his political will or lack of it.

An example of which was the strong implementation of the ordinance on liquor ban within 300-meter radius of the Sinulog route. That was very effective and, indeed, the heart of the city was in order and peaceful.

The credit should be given to Mayor Osmeña. I could still remember the wild crowd; most of whom are drank youth, in the previous years. They caused pain to peace-loving devotees who experienced their untamed behavior. 

His being visionary led him to make projects that can benefit the future generation. There are many. One of them is the South Road Properties (SRP). Such property makes Cebu City as one of the richest cities in the country.

Osmeña discussed how such property should be managed so that the fruits or income of it can sustain the needs of the Cebuanos. The income on taxes and rentals of the said property is enough to sustain the needs of the senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities, city scholars, etcetera.

Mayor Osmeña’s analogy of the SRP to a mango tree is precise. Part of his Facebook post when he conceded defeat said, “The SRP is like a mango tree; it is meant to bear the fruit for our children to enjoy. Let us not chop down the tree and sacrifice our children’s tomorrow for today. Let us take care of our tree.” What a nice message!

Maybe I am just so meticulous in my observation, but for purposes of discussion, Mayor Osmeña used the pronoun in the objective case, “us.”  If I may interpret it, he did not exclude himself from taking care of the tree or the SRP. 

This might give an idea to Mayor-elect Labella to still tap the expertise of Mayor Osmeña on the matter, if necessary. After all he mentioned during my interview and also in the IBP debates the possibilities of asking the help of Osmeña on the matter. 

The Cebuanos have already elected Labella as the new mayor.  Let us respect such decision in a democratic process. The Cebuanos are known to be intelligent voters. 

The Cebuanos believe that with Labella’s credentials and experiences in public service, he is equipped enough to effectively run this city.  In fact, Osmeña was the first who saw Labella’s capacity because from the very start he was the one who invited Labella to join politics.

The election is over. Let us unite and support our new mayor.

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