Auguring well for Cebu
Before I proceed to the gist of this piece, let met congratulate the Arkisketchers, Cebuano architects who are also painters, led by Loloy Castro, on the opening of their exhibition entitled, “Sugbu Kaniadto: Young Cebu in Nostalgic Hue” which opens tonight at 6:30 at the Upper Ground Floor Bridgeway of the Mountain Wing Atrium of SM Seaside City.
Let me thank those who heeded my request to vote for Gwendolyn F. Garcia and her slate for the province of Cebu and for Edgardo Labella and his slate for Cebu City. Congratulations are also in order to Governor-elect Garcia, Mayor-elect Leballa and Vice-Mayor-elect Mike Rama and their allies. The tandem of allies in the province and Cebu City, the unmatched landslide victories of Jonas Cortes and his entire slate in Mandaue and the victories of allied mayors in the Metro Cebu area a will augur well for all local executives finally joining hands to move the Mega Cebu initiative forward. Finally, we have no more stumbling block to unite and build a more livable Cebu further and faster.
One of the greatest fiascos of the Otso Diretso candidates is that they painted the recent elections as a referendum on President Rodrigo Duterte and his presidency. Then there was the claim that the Otso Deretso represented the silent majority, that the election of Duterte in 2016 was a fluke and that this majority would show their mettle in this midterm elections. This has, alas, been proven to be nothing but a self-ascribed illusion that has now been smashed to smithereens.
The results clearly show that Duterte’s chosen candidates have won, from the senatorial slate down to majority of the governors, city mayors, provincial board members and councilors.
Other than Gwen and her brother Pablo John (who returns to his old seat as congressional representative of the Third District), some of them are in fact known to me personally: the incoming governor of Zamboanga del Sur, Victor Yu; the congressional representative Divina Yu (wife of Victor); Sammy Co of Pagadian City.
There is a lesson to be learned from the dismal performance of the opposition, led by the Otso Diretso senatorial wannabes, banner bearers of the political right, center and left who once disliked one another but decided that they now shared one thing in common: their hatred for the sitting president.
It is time to come down from that self-righteous high horse, stop sour graping, and listen to what these Dutertards, as they call them disparagingly, might be trying to say.
The most telling of the election results is the return of Gwendolyn Garcia to the governorship. I was one of her consultants, handling museums and heritage during her second and third gubernatorial terms. I am a witness to the machinations by a city mayor, a vice governor, and a local government secretary to suspend her on trumped up charges.
This came on the heels of the mysterious plane crash of former local government secretary Jesse Robredo, who, it is alleged, refused to sign her suspension. And when they all won in the midterm under an inept and inutile president that did nothing for Cebu—not even to help solve its worsening traffic condition—they filed cases against her and those who worked for her. Despite this, she still won as Third District representative. And, of course, the cases have now been decided in their favor. The latest one in fact, was the dismissal of the case filed against her on the Balili land deal.
Now all three conspirators have lost in the elections while Gwen returns. As the saying goes, ”What’s meant to be, always finds a way.”
There will always be people who refuse to come down from their high horse and refuse to accept the reality. Let them be. It is now time not just to simply move on but move forward in unity and, as Gwen is famously known to say, “Get down to brass tacks.” For there is so much to be done and three years is quite short.
Come June 30 at exactly noontime, Cebu will chart a better future.
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