Why majority of Cebuanos prefer Labella and Rama

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

Cebuanos are wise voters. They will vote for Osmeña, but for Serge Osmeña the senator, and not the mayor. As Serge's ad would say: “I-serge mo.” No offense meant.

I have asked people around, walked both in the north and south districts. I have my own operatives on the ground. What I write here are excerpts of what I hear directly from people themselves and from own researchers and survey operatives. This is what the people are saying: Edgar Labella is definitely the better choice for mayor, a lawyer with competence, integrity, and dedication. He is pro-people, respects human dignity, does not have a superiority complex, and is an effective and efficient public servant who does not bully subordinates around. He is soft-spoken, low-profile, humble, and easy to talk to. He can, so to speak, walk with kings and emperors, and never lose the common touch, to borrow the poet's phrase.

And Cebuanos say Michael Rama is the perfect complement to Mayor Edgar. Mike is dynamic while Edgar is subdued to the point of being meek. Mike is very articulate and loves to talk while Edgar often opts to think, reflect, and to remain silent. Mike is a good vice mayor because Edgar can delegate to him the many speaking engagements a mayor is normally expected to do. Edgar Labella is a deep thinker, he often reflects on issues before deciding on them. The Cebuanos love the tandem of Edgar and Mike. Edgar is expected to think on the pros and cons of every issue. Mike can be relied upon to translate plans into actions, and then to transform actions into results.

Cebuanos prefer the team of Labella and Rama because Labella is not authoritarian but democratic and Rama is a team player. The leadership style of Labella and Mike is consultative, collaborative, and team-oriented. Labella respects the opinions of others, including those of Mike. Labella does not decide impulsively, much less recklessly. He is more cautious, prudent, and deliberative. Mike can be trusted by Labella to consult the constituencies and the grassroots. But Labella makes the decision at the end of the day. Mike will see through the execution of their joint decision. The Edgar-Mike team is more attuned to the temper of the people,

The kind of leader that Edgar is appears to be very pro-people, and such natural charm and friendliness endears him to the Cebuanos. He talks to the masses and listens to their problems. He talks to the village leaders and does not impose his will from an ivory tower. Edgar is essentially consultative which bespeaks his deep and abiding respect for his people. I will not discuss here what the characteristics of his opponent are for I do not know him well. But I know Edgar from our college days in UV. He had always been that “buotan apan ambongan.” And, quite importantly, Edgar is healthy, he can serve well and can withstand going from village to village up to the mountain barangays to be with the people and serve them well. The good health of the leader is of utmost importance in public service.

I think, based on our surveys, Edgar will get at the very least 60% and Mike will even get a 68 to 72%. It does not really matter if the Labella-Rama team wins by only 100 votes over their respective opponents. A win is a win, and any election is a numbers game. If one seeks to contest these predictions, let him come forward with his own facts. I will respect that too.

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