Some startling Osmeña claims
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - April 12, 2018 - 12:00am

There were two major pronouncements by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña that somehow gave me an insight on the kind of leader he is. His statements project different but unpalatable signals. It is a sin to judge someone, but I only scrutinize his declarations-fairly and objectively as possible-for their probable impact..

First: Osmeña said President Rodrigo Duterte is too friendly with China and, despite declaring war on illegal drugs, cannot control the inflow of narcotics from China. Osmeña puts doubt on the president's efforts to stop the drug menace. To say it differently, he said that unless Duterte can prevent the importation of shabu from China, this problem cannot be solved.

This Osmeña statement drew sharp reaction from Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who obviously disagreed that the war on drugs will fail if China remains the main source of shabu. The onus of Osmeña's pronouncement is:For President Duterte to succeed, he must ask his Chinese counterpart to stop narcotics to the Philippines. Mayor Sara might have read something sinister between the lines of the Osmeña declaration not only because the president is her father but perhaps she knows more about the illegal trade than most of us.

Mayor Sara, in denouncing Osmeña, could have used the saying that the fish is usually caught thru its mouth. When she asked how come Osmeña knew that illegal drugs are sourced from China, she led me to conclude that our mayor must have this kind of sensitive information. While Mayor Sara questioned why Osmeña failed to report this to the police, I imagine a more disturbing scene previously revealed by former Justice Secretary Aguirre.

Second: Osmeña was quoted as saying he was behind the widening of some roads. This claim was apparently in reply to the accusation of Presidential Assistant Michael Dino that Osmeña failed in managing our traffic system. I join Dino's observation that our mayor has, for about 30 years (since his first term in 1988), been a failure in addressing the city's traffic. Yet, among the streets Osmeña claimed credit for widening is the AS Fortuna Avenue. The only AS Fortuna Avenue I know is in Mandaue City. If true that Osmeña was responsible for the widening of a Mandaue City road, the Mandauehanons owe him a thank you note at least.

A bit of information does not jibe with Osmeña's claim. The widening of Cebu City streets-V. Rama Avenue, Natalio Bacalso Avenue, and B Rodriguez Street-and the opening of Imus Street connecting it to Gen.Maxilom Avenue, came from the project generation of then Governor Eduardo Gullas and Mayor Ronald Duterte in 1983. At that time Osmeña, probably still in the US, knew nothing about such infrastructure programs. When Osmeña became mayor, these projects were already done. I can say that it is incorrect for Osmeña to claim being behind these.

I write about these for two purposes. One, I hope Osmeña shall address Mayor Sara's insinuation that he might have connections to drug trade. Two, I hope Osmeña shall be truthful enough to admit that in his watch he had neither widened a street nor opened a new road, and be humble to recognize that other government officials had done something in anticipation of the traffic needs of our city.

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