Rama accuses Tomas of ‘rewriting history’

Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - March 1, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - By attributing the Cebu City charter to another person instead of Don Vicente Rama, Mayor Tomas Osmeña is trying to change history and taking advantage of his position to manipulate the public’s mind.

Councilor Eduardo Rama had this to say after Osmeña left out the name of Don Vicente — often referred to as the Father of Cebu City Charter — in his Charter Day anniversary speech last Friday at the Plaza Sugbo and instead recognized former councilor and lawyer Gervasio Lavilles as the brains of Cebu’s cityhood.

“Let me be clear. I do not intend to undermine Atty. Lavilles. In fact, I commend him for his action in passing the resolution. However, what Tomas Osmeña said was uncalled for,” Rama said in a privilege speech during the council session yesterday.

“It was a clear attempt to discredit my great grandfather and imply malice against him.”

“What Tomas Osmeña is trying to do and what he did last week was to take advantage of his position to manipulate the public’s mind by rewriting history,” the councilor added.

Rama said they are not claiming that Don Vicente was the only person behind the city’s charter as he acknowledged it was a collaborative effort and that everyone who played a part should be given credit.

“He (Don Vicente) quotes his report to let us, his family, know that the passing of the bill was successful not only because of his efforts in Congress but because councilors passed resolutions proving that the Cebuanos supported the charter because councilors and Atty. Lavilles delivered speeches. Asa man siya nag-angkon niana?” he said.

Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, who identifies with Team Rama, said it was only appropriate for Don Vicente to be branded the Father of the City Charter since he sponsored the bill that paved the way for Cebu’s cityhood.

“It just shows that Tomas did not understand legislative work even though he was once a congressman. It is a fact that Don Vicente Rama sponsored the bill that became the Charter of the City of Cebu. Thus, he can be aptly called Father of Cebu City Charter. It is in the memoirs of Don Vicente Rama that during the Congress deliberations, he mentioned that the Municipal Board of Cebu passed a number of resolutions supporting the charter,” Pesquera said.

In his Charter Day speech last February 24, Osmeña said it was Lavilles who did all the work in the formation of the city’s charter.

“We are giving special honor to the late Atty. Gervasio Lavilles who I remember, ever since I was a small boy, it turns out that he was the man that (did) all the work… As usual, naa’y laing mga tawo nga mangangkon. But let us not take away credit where credit is due,” Osmeña said.

Lavilles, as a municipal councilor, authored Resolution No. 185 which called on the Senate and the House of Representatives to enact a law converting the municipality of Cebu into a city. It was passed on August 31, 1931.

Osmeña said Lavilles was also behind the move to merge then municipalities of Cebu, Pardo, San Nicolas, Mabolo and Talamban into one Cebu City.

After the Charter Day program last week, Lavilles’ daughter Evangeline de Paula expressed her gratitude to the city government for honoring her father.

De Paula said only a few people know that her father was the “brains of the creation of the charter of Cebu City.”

“He (Lavilles) joined politics and was elected three times to the Cebu Municipal Council. He won his first term at 25 (years old) and garnered the highest number of votes,” she said. (FREEMAN)

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