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Opinion

EDITORIAL - CICC banner: Advantage given away

The Freeman

A huge banner screaming the words "Never Again" and draped across the Cebu International Convention Center appears to have stirred a hornet's nest. What the banner may lack in words does not detract from the message the two words imply -- Cebuanos do not deserve another tainted project such as the CICC, built in 2006 for the Asean Summit that Cebu hosted.

Clarity of message aside, nobody seems to want to have anything to do with it. Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has washed his hands over it. It is a denial that grows limp in light of the fact that the CICC is owned by the Capitol and that it was built by a predecessor who beat him in his first crack at the governorship and whose brother now wants to wrest it away from him.

Davide belongs to a party that makes hay from sloganeering, with its most famous catchphrase "daang matuwid" succeeding in sending a partymate to Malacañang. Did Davide not see the pointlessness of any denial given the above circumstances? Did Davide not see that the more he denies, the more the public gets convinced that he had something to do with the banner's sudden appearance.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with the banner, the allegations alluded to by the message, while still unresolved and unproven, were actually made and therefore exist. They are in fact the subject of ongoing litigation. If Davide is afraid he might be accused of playing dirty, well, he should not have joined politics in the first place.

The banner may be aimed clearly at the opponents of Davide, but there is nothing in what the banner implies that is below the belt. Davide could have owned up the message on the banner without assuming responsibility for its posting. That would have showcased the courage and leadership that many Cebuanos sorely miss in their governor. He could have said simply that he did not put the banner there but agreed with its message and that it is a lesson for all to learn.

It is sad that even with opportunity screaming at him to be recognized, Davide would still miss it and let it pass. There is nothing wrong with the message, for God's sake. It is the very essence of the platform that his party has perfected in its sloganeering style of governance. By distancing himself from the banner and denying any hand in all aspects of its sudden appearance, Davide only served to let the whole hulabaloo swing in favor of the other side.

Great leadership does not reside only in clean hands, especially if those hands, no matter how clean, refuse to do anything. Leadership is more about the ability to respond to a situation and take quick action. If this had been a battle, Davide and his forces would have been massacred despite being superiorly positioned and armed -- and all because the general failed to recognize his advantage and did not act.

 

ASEAN SUMMIT ATILDE BANNER CEBU CEBU GOVERNOR HILARIO DAVIDE CEBU INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER CEBUANOS DAVIDE DID DAVIDE IF DAVIDE NEVER AGAIN
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