EDITORIAL - A great leader does not lose people

(The Freeman) - July 21, 2016 - 12:00am

Tomas Osmeña was beaten by Michael Rama in the 2013 election. If the election then was as honest as most Cebuanos believe, then Rama was their choice to lead them in the next three years. By the same token, if the 2016 election, in which Osmeña turned the tables on Rama, was as honest as most Cebuanos believe, then Osmeña was clearly their choice to lead them the next three years.

Osmeña should, therefore, be the mayor that the Cebuanos elected him to be. He should be the mayor of and for everyone. Partisan politics ought to end with the election. After the election, any leader vested with the popular mandate should serve the interests of everyone regardless of political color or affiliation. To do so is to qualify that leader as truly entitled to his title, which in this case is mayor.

Right off the bat of his new term, however, Osmeña has been acting like a real partisan leader who coddles those who supported him and punishes those who did not. Perhaps he is still acting out the hangovers from a truly vicious political fight, in which case he might be forgiven. After all, he is still just a few weeks into his three-year term.

But if Osmeña wants to be truly the mayor of Cebu City and not just those who voted for him, and if he wants to stay in power for at least another term, or maybe even more, then he needs to be the leader of everybody, including those who did not support him and probably hate him to their guts. In fact, to drive home the point, he is the mayor of Michael Rama no matter how either of them may loathe the sound of the term.

Cebu City has a population approaching a million people. Each one of them is a constituent of his. And each one of them has to look up to him as mayor. Osmeña cannot simply disregard this fact. He owes it to these people even if, in the deepest recesses of his personal feelings, the fires of partisanship burn fierce and true and makes him lose sleep.

The Cebuanos did not ask to be a people divided along partisan lines. All they wanted was to have a leader who can lead them as they pursue their daily lives. That some of them voted for him and some for Rama is due only to the fact that that was the choice presented them. Had Osmeña not sought the mayorship and Rama not stood for reelection, these people would have had to vote for someone else because it is their obligation to do so.

Osmeña should not take it against these people. Instead of punishing those who did not go with him and alienate them in the process, Osmeña should gather them all like a true leader would and should to them, by word and deed, why he is the better leader that he thinks he is and how wrong they were in choosing Rama over him in those past elections. A great leader does not lose

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