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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Suspended for doing a good thing

The Freeman

The suspension of Mayor Michael Rama by the Office of the President is a crying shame. It underscores the ugliness of politics and is a slap in the face of good governance. The grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression that ostensibly gave substance to the suspension are big words that ring hollow in light of what the facts are.

And here are the facts. In barangay Labangon, the barangay captain caused the construction of a center island right smack at the corner of a very narrow and heavily congested intersection. That center island was the living example of skewed priorities and parochial hubris. Motorists cursed that damned construction for the hassle it caused. But the darned thing had one thing in its favor. The barangay captain was a Liberal.

Now, Mayor Rama was naturally incensed by the construction. The road on which it was constructed was a city road, nor a barangay road. Motorists who use the road are not necessarily just Labangon residents. Many other motorists from other areas in the city also use the road. As mayor of the city, Rama naturally had to do something. So he had the center island removed. But the action that made many people happy had one drawback. Rama was not a Liberal.

One thing led to another, and a complaint for grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression ended at the Office of the President and Rama ended out of office for two months. It was not even the man behind the Office of the President who signed it. The gruesome task of suspending a political enemy for doing a good thing fell on the little president.

And the Office of the President would not even dignify its own order by implementing it. It charged the Department of Interior and Local Government to do so. If it is any consolation to Rama, at least his suspension is not for something onerous, like being corrupt, of which in so many instances the very same Office of the President has remained oblivious to or completely ignored, especially when these involved friends, allies and relatives of the man behind the office.

There is nothing for Rama to be ashamed of being suspended for grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression in relation to his destruction of that darn center island in Labangon. Many would have done so if they had been similarly situated as the mayor. And if the intention in suspending Rama was to cripple his chances for reelection, the opposite effect might yet come true in this case.

Rama did a good and beneficial thing in removing that center island. Why the monstrosity and utterly useless construction was even done in the first place by itself raises a lot of questions, and will be something the barangay captain himself will have to answer in 2016. As to grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression -- there are many ways of interpreting it, all depending on which political authority is doing the interpreting.

 

AUTHORITY

GRAVE

LABANGON

MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA

MAYOR RAMA

OFFICE

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND RAMA

PRESIDENT

RAMA

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