Wrong mistake!?

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - August 9, 2018 - 12:00am

“Wrong Mistake” was a Tagalog film many years ago, starring comedian Chiquito. The title itself was comical in sound and faulty in its construction. Ironically, its subliminal message wanted to project a grave situation if we consider that a mistake was repeated in doing another wrong. Whew! If I do not sound persuasive or if I appear confused — nabuang na tingali ko! True to the off-tangent nature of this column, I see no reason in what Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña wants in announcing that he would withdraw the logistical support to the police.


Osmeña, as part of his lifelong propaganda, keeps on repeating that he is responsible for the city’s peace and order. His 2016 political advertisements — placed as spots within the NBA games of the NBA, beamed live from US —claimed that if elected mayor he would make our city safe. Fine!

If Osmeña is the modern-day personification of Clark Kent, his boast of protecting us is reassuring. He can patrol Cebu City by his lonesome and like Superman pounces upon the denizens of the underworld. There would have been a need for him to keep the likes of the late policeman Dumpit.

Do you happen to remember Dumpit who, in his lifetime, was the perceived official bodyguard of the mayor. Maybe because he was a known sharpshooter, Osmeña needed him for protection. But, Dumpit was convicted of killing an unarmed youth. The story went on that Osmeña, or someone in his behalf, put up a bail pending appeal to spring Dumpit from jail and brought him back to Cebu. Bailing out of prison a convicted felon was, to me, a mistake.  It did not look good that our leader would bet on the side of a criminal. Letting loose a convicted killer among the city residents — though not for long — was also wrong.  That Osmeña’s preferred bodyguard was reportedly killed by authorities, while allegedly on his way to market illegal drugs, proved the mayor’s wrong mistake.

Few days ago, the Tejero incident took place. Confusion ensued. Different news versions beclouded the truth. What was clear was a policeman was shot death by a civilian. Police said the slain officer was conducting surveillance operation on an elected barangay personality. There was information that the kagawad was in the drug watch list but, until today, it’s an unexplored angle. The side of the civilian who admitted to be the bodyguard of the councilman and who claimed responsibility for firing the gun that killed the policeman, contradicted the police stand. He said the policeman attempted to draw his firearm. What a rationale!

Rather than wait until the investigation could clear the dust, Osmeña threw his overpowering protection on the civilian, when he said there was an evolving ambush. And the target was his kagawad. More than taking a premature stand, Osmeña committed an irreversible mistake. Even if his theory is proven correct, his act grossly interfered with the investigating authorities, thus an administrative mistake.

Amid the investigation, Osmeña aggravated the situation. Citing that the police (or was it the NBI?) erred in killing his favorite Dumpit, he announced his loss of confidence in the police office, and would no longer support it. If so, the efficiency of the city police would be drastically affected. To me, the applicable term is blackmail and it is wrong.

The mayor can perhaps connotatively undo what the movie producers did by not committing this “Wrong Mistake.”


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with