Why and how Tommy, Serge, and Sonny Osmeña lost

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

The downfall of three Osmeñas in one election is unprecedented in all history.

Serge Osmeña failed again in his solo bid to go back to the Senate. I lament that because he was an excellent legislator. The defeat of Sonny was expected because he was the third man in the ring, and a very old man at that. But the defeat of Tom was a big loss to the BOPK because he was the incumbent. This is the second time he has been beaten by his own vice mayor. He lost because his own councilors, at the last minute, especially in the north district, dropped him to save themselves. Labella was very strong in the north and the BOPK bets were doing “iya iya ug langoy” because the Labella waves were overwhelming. In the south, the council bets also did “kanya-kanya.” The BOPK unity crumbled in the last 48 hours before D-day. Barug stood united in victory and defeat.

There was a time in Cebu's history that the name Osmeña was invincible and was, in fact, synonymous with inevitable victory. In earlier years, when there was a bitter fight in Cebu between the forces of Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. and those of Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Don Manuel and Don Miguel, the Osmeñas were perceived as the saviors of democracy in Cebu, especially when Serging, Sergio Osmeña Jr., came home from the United States and agreed to run as governor of Cebu and won. In the ‘60s, whoever Serging anointed won. Whatever Serging wanted, he got. That was the start of the motto: "Bisag Unsaon, Osmeña Kami''. Serging won over all candidates of Marcos in Cebu City, including my distant relative from Ronda, the much-respected Francisco Emilio “Kikoy” Remotigue or “Ingko Milio” in Ronda.

The turning point in history was the Osmeña-Cuenco fusion in the late ‘50s and ‘60s, where the two forces combined and was opposed by President Marcos' boys, the triumvirate of the late Congressmen Ramon Durano of the northeast, Manuel Zosa of the southwest, and Tereso Dumon of the northwest. They were joined by Congressman Ed Kintanar of the southeast. That polarization made Serging invincible in Cebu City, but his opponents controlled the towns in the north as well as the south. It was Marcos who destroyed the invincibility of the Osmeñas. That is why no Osmeña today would ever support a Marcos. They are water and oil.

During the latest election, Tom lost because Edgar Labella is the complete opposite of what he represents. Osmeña appeared to be the candidate of the elite, the moneyed, and the ruling class. Labella is the defender of the working class, the oppressed and the exploited. Osmeña represents the authoritarian leadership style. Labella is the icon of democratic decision-making. Serge lost because he was an independent. He was not carried by the ruling PDP, or the NP and NPC. He was a lone ranger with no organization. He may be moneyed but he lost because money without organization equals defeat. Sonny lost because he is past his time. When he won for the first time as senator, I was a YOL (Youth for Osmeña) volunteer. Today, I believe, he should retire and enjoy life and the world.

The Osmeñas are rich people. They do not rely on public office to fund their high status and expensive lifestyles. They have money, lands, and businesses. It is time for them to be relieved of the thankless, burdensome, and nasty life in politics. If we really love the Osmeñas we should never elect them again.

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