When will this political zarzuela end?

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

There’s a huge difference in our celebrating the coming of the New Year 2013 this year, because last year, 30 minutes before 12:00am, the skies of Cebu were already lit up with all sorts of pyrotechnics. In the previous years, it was a full hour of noise and fireworks display. No doubt the New Year 2013 was perhaps the most subdued New Year’s greeting in the decades that we’ve been having a new years’ celebration in our house.

This could only mean that, either Cebuanos finally heeded the call of the Department of Health (DoH) or the police not to use firecrackers or any sort of pyrotechnics to greet the New Year… or many Cebuanos finally realized that blowing up your hard earned money into smithereens just to greet the New Year wasn’t a good idea after all.

It could be that many Cebuanos decided to purchase the more expensive pyrotechnics available but in fewer quantities, hence everyone with firecrackers blew them all in the last 10 minutes of the Year 2013. This is why 5 minutes after 12:00am, everything began to die down. It was indeed less noisy this year as compared to all the years of our greeting the New Year. But as of this printing, I really don’t know how many casualties we’ve have here in Cebu. But the Philippine Star’s front page headline revealed 220 hurt during the New Year’s revelry. This only shows that while many people have become more responsible… there are still others who still have to grow up.

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The new year just started and we were greeted by a sad news report that that a dear friend, Fr. James Reuter, one of the icons of the Catholic Church and in the media, passed away last Monday. I met Fr. Reuter twice … and I will never forget that he told me once, “I always read your columns. Keep it up!”

Few people know that Fr. Reuter was one of the EDSA Revolt’s unsung heroes. Fr. Reuter created Radio Veritas and had a code name “Papa Bear” and it was because of his influence that people became disillusioned by the Marcos Dictatorship. It was through the continued media attacks against the Marcos Regime that triggered the EDSA Revolt as the mainstream media was considered part and parcel of the Marcos Propaganda machinery. Fr. Reuters left his native New Jersey and has remained in the Philippines still his death last Monday. May we request the pious reader to please pray for the repose of soul.

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Now that the New Year’s holiday is already over and done with (of course, we in Cebu are awaiting the Sinulog celebrations) it is time to now look seriously into the problems that is plaguing Gov. Gwen F. Garcia. Let me point out that I will be the first to ask her to step down if the suspension order signed by Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III was valid.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be able to see that what is happening at the Provincial Capitol is nothing but a political zarzuela. It is clear as day that all this was engineered by Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who after the DILG order was slapped at the Governor… immediately went to the Provincial Capitol. We were not born yesterday. This act was clearly premeditated and designed to be done just before the Christmas break where all offices of the Philippine Government would be in a Christmas recess.

What the perpetrators of this dastardly deed miscalculated is that, there will be a political backlash on this. After all, they have made Gov. Gwen Garcia an underdog. Filipinos after all always side with the underdog. But what the heck, the Liberal Party here in Cebu (many of them are in reality members of the Bando-Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) doesn’t seem to care anyway for they seem to have the poor people in check. First because they still buy the votes of the poor and secondly, perhaps more importantly, the LP has the Comelec in their pockets and will use the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) to emerge victorious in the 2013 elections.

So the big question each and every Cebuano ought to ask is not to ask whether or not they should side with Osmeña or Garcia… but rather, if we should be siding with the political leaders who are following the law. In the case of Gov. Gwen Garcia… the LP just couldn’t pin her on the controversial Balili deal because it would have meant dragging the names of LP stalwarts like acting Gov. Agnes Magpale or Provincial Board member Arleigh Sitoy. So they found it in the case filed by the very dead Vice-Gov. Greg Sanchez.

Of course, it meant that Rep. Tomas Osmeña had to coax his friend DILG Sec. Mar Roxas to convince PNoy to sign the suspension order of Gov. Garcia. So the bigger question to ask is did Pres. PNoy violate DILG rules when he signed the Governor’s suspension order? This is the question for the Judiciary to adjudicate…and hopefully end this political zarsuela!

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 Email: [email protected]


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