In defense of my university president

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - October 28, 2015 - 10:00am

The way His Honor, Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes, is conducting his re-election campaign against the former Cebu Province First District Representative Eduardo R. Gullas, the president of the university where I teach Constitutional Law, is riveting my attention. Where he was rather coy in those previous times he lost in his political sorties, Mayor de los Reyes, in his present approach, seems to up his ante to match his newly-found popularity.

I can yield to the distinct possibility that his position of some influence makes him highly accessible to a local newspaper but the frequency of his appearance in that paper indicates to me that he is the paper's special point of interest. And he is taking full advantage of such preference. Even if he hits the inside pages of the daily, he is a constant copy and you all know what I mean. Is it not that in politics, good or bad news is still news?

In one of the most recent reports on Mayor de los Reyes I happened to read, the Talisay City chief executive, however, appeared to confuse his strategy. I took time to read it again and again because I was extremely careful that my given bias in favor of my university president might cloud my perception. Each time I repeated in reading the news, the idea got polished. It dawned on me that the news story ascribed to him was so ill advised that I thought the mayor did not conceptualize it intelligently. Or it was also possible that he and his handlers took for granted the mind of the reading public.

Why do I say that? Can you imagine that Mayor de los Reyes was quoted as saying that, in the event he would get re-elected as Talisay City mayor, he would tap the services of former Congressman Gullas as his advisor?

One. Perhaps, the mayor imagined that the reading public would consider his gesture as conciliatory. In trying to project the idea that if re-elected, he would not seek and destroy the vanquished, he was a different political animal. Unfortunately, it was not to be so. His declaration was a meaningless afterthought. If he sincerely wanted to learn from the vast experience and profound wisdom of the former legislator in running the affairs of the city, Mayor de los Reyes could, in 2013, when he began as a city mayor, have asked the counsel of my university president. What did he do instead? The mayor showed his contempt by assigning to non-responsive positions some key city officials brought to Talisay City by Atty. Gullas, at the beginning of his term. If it was not political persecution of the unlamented genre, then I would not know what it was.

But, what really came thru was Mayor de los Reyes' unconcealed admission that Atty. Gullas, should be a far better person to run the affairs of the city of Talisay. In his inner thoughts, he knew that he accomplished nothing significant in almost three years of his maladministration. That is why he needs the expertise of my university president to achieve something. 

Two. I perceived the unchristian way Mayor de los Reyes rattled his statement. He claimed that my university president was "aided in walking" while filing his Certificate of Candidacy.

The mayor wanted to project that his political opponent is so old and sickly that he could no longer walk on his own power.

Well, I should know the fact. And to inform the Talisay City mayor that Atty. Gullas is much healthier than he imagined, I will ask the leadership of CESAFI, the Basketball Association of the Philippines or even the PBA to organize a one-on-one basketball challenge between Mayor de los Reyes and Atty. Eduardo "Eddiegul" Gullas. If ever a PBA is going to be held here in Cebu before the May 2016 election, we can have the friendly competition during the half time break. Here is my suggestion. Let them shoot 10 balls each from three spots - two on the wings and from the foul throw line.  We will find out from the result who has the better eyesight and who is more accurate in shooting 30 balls total.

Then, we can let them play on a half court, a one-on-one game for say three minutes. If Atty. Gullas beats Mayor de los Reyes in this basketball match, the result will be considered an apology accepted. If the mayor beats my university president, then his statement is founded on truth.

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