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Pissing Contest June 2, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Armchair Politics.
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Today’s issue of Sun*star Cebu’s headline reads “TOMAS STAMPS CIUDAD PROJECT”. Apparently Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena is back on the warpath against Cebu Province Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, this time expressing his adversity towards the much vaunted Ciudad shopping-complex being developed along the Talamban-Banilad road. This confirms his policy of placing a moratorium on developments in the Banilad and Talamban area. Ostensibly, Tomas raises the issue of the traffice congestion arising from the placement of the future Ciudad project along the only traffic artery covering the whole area, namely the Talamban road.Tomas opines that Cebu City was willing to talk with Cebu Province under a spirit of cooperation, until its relations with Capitol officials soured over the failed land exchange deal. He says that he is now going to focus purely on the city’s interests, as Gov. Gwen Garcia needs to know where the line is drawn because the Province cannot dictate projects in the city, which is not within her jurisdiction.

For her part, Gov. Gwen Garcia retorts that she doesn’t dictate to local government units, alleging that she just follows what is right after “a sober reflection on what is right and on basic belief in truth, justice and equity.”

What a big load of dog poop.

To my magnificent mind, the Mayor and the Governor are acting like two little kids having some silly fight in the playground. “I’m not going to let you use the swing because you refuse to let me ride on the see-saw.” “Oh yeah? Well I’m going to tell Inday that she’s not going to be your friend because you’re ugly!” “Oh yeah? I’m going to tell Dodong that you’re fat and you have mushrooms growing out of your anus!”

It’s all a silly clash of egos, if you ask me. To his credit, Tomas does raise a valid point that indeed, a traffic congestion will arise out of the Ciudad project, but the real reason why he’s so bull-headed about it is because this is the bargaining chip that will force Gwen to enter into a land-swap deal with Cebu City. The land swap involves the exchange of a billion pesos’ worth of Provincial property for a million pesos’ worth of City property, ostensibly to benefit some homeless people squatting on the Province’s lots located in Cebu City. I don’t know why the Mayor is pushing hard for this land swap deal though. An insider from the Garcia camp tells me it’s because some of these squatters are located in prime areas along the Southcoastal Reclamation Project, which Tomas is allocating for business projects. However, a review of previous news reports reveal that this argument doesn’t make sense. None of the areas affected by landswap are anywhere near the SRP. So again, I don’t know what Tomas’ motives for pushing the landswap deal are. Benevolence and magnanimity to the poor and displaced?

Ostensibly, Gwen’s motives for NOT pushing through with the landswap issue is because she doesn’t like the way Tomas is bullying her around to enter into compromise. This was magnified by the fact that Tomas’ pet vice-mayor, Michael Rama, had previously come out with inflammatory statements about the Province “mag dawat og limpyo” (a Cebuano idiom which, loosely translated to English means, “Getting the better end of the deal without having to give anything in return.”) Hence, I can understand why Gwen would NOT want to play nice.

But in turn, I’d have to say that Gwen hasn’t been playing nice either. She closed down a provincial road right beside the Fuente Osmena Rotunda. The City Government’s SRP project is currently under a lawsuit questioning the legality of the land. (Side note on the SRP lawsuit: The suit was filed by Joel Garganera, but I believe that Garganera is just the frontman in that suit. Someone else is behind that lawsuit and although I can’t confirm it, I think it has Garcia written all over the move. The reason why the Garcias haven’t gone out and attacked it themselves is because the SRP project was already in development at the time of former mayor Alvin Garcia and former governor Pabling Garcia. It would be like shooting themselves at the foot.)

So, in short, I think this all boils down to the Mayor and the Governor playing a game of chicken with each other, to see who’s going to be the first one to get cowed and submit. In other words, it’s a game of power. You bully me around and I’ll bully you around. With government projects and public property! In this game of whose fart is the stinkiest, I’m afraid the only people left holding their breaths is the constituents of both Cebu City and Cebu Province.

For the sake of getting on with the rest of our lives, can’t somebody lock the Mayor and the Governor together in a closet and wait for them to fight out their differences until somebody gets killed or a compromise is made? I sincerely believe that all of this is just a matter of sexual tension. The two of them clearly want to do the nasty with each other. I mean hey, Gwen Garcia’s clearly one hot momma, and Tommy, in his own fashion, is one big bad boy. Give them a chance to work out the “tension” and soon we’ll have a well-oiled and running Cebu.

The Governor The Mayor

But jokes aside, we really need for the Governor and the Mayor to get their act together and set aside their petty grievances. For that matter, the Osmenas and the Garcias need to kiss and make up. Only then will we see Cebu being the fighting force that it could be.

But I guess that’s a dream we would have to await.

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Comments»

1. Rusty - June 9, 2008

Interesting article.

2. realitychick77 - November 23, 2008

Right now who could care less who wins?

You’re right. They should be put aside to settle this wherever they deem appropriate. But Cebu shouldn’t have to suffer. They can slug it out, but not on THIS playground. This playground belongs to the people.


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