Pride and prejudice in provincial politics
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

If only the two honorable Cebuanos, outgoing Governor Hilario P Davide III and incoming governor Gwendolyn F Garcia can rise above petty partisan politics and have a heart-to-heart talk, the Cebuanos will be happiest.

The ongoing imbroglio in the Capitol concerning the approved Resource Center under the Davide stewardship, which the Garcia team is strongly objecting to, can escalate into a major legal battle. If we follow the Davide line, he is still the governor and he can proceed according to the approval of the outgoing provincial board.  Legally, only the court can issue an injunction or a temporary restraining order. A memo from the incoming team does carry the power of a TRO. On the other hand, if we listen to the Garcia team, the Davide governorship will soon be over. It is futile to start digging when the new administration will take over in a few days or so. Which side is right? That is not important to me. What matters most is the best for the people of Cebu.

What is the proper protocol for all outgoing governors in all provinces, and the respective incoming teams insofar as projects are concerned? Should the incoming teams insult the outgoing administration by issuing them memorandums telling them to stop all on-going projects? Or should the new leaders invite the outgoing teams to a friendly dinner, where the two groups can break the ice of pride and prejudice?

To be fair also to the incoming teams, I think it is more prudent for the outgoing leaders to voluntarily cease and desist from proceeding with whatever projects that were approved. As courtesy to the new team, it is just a matter of a month or less. The project has to be threshed out in a friendly dialogue first. There is a way over and above the purely legalistic approach that both parties should explore. And this is the way of diplomacy. Both teams should appoint each a group of negotiators who shall meet as gentlemen and with a common purpose of reaching a win-win solution. The old team should open their minds to the possibility that the project may be shelved. The new team should also be open to the option of proceeding with caution.

This is not just about who is right and who is wrong. This is about the maturity of men and women in politics. This is about what is best for the people. Governor Gwen should listen to Governor Junjun, and the latter should also hear the lady. Anyway, they are both servants of the people. Junjun should explain in a calm, objective and persuasive manner why the project should proceed. And Gwen should listen without interrupting the gentleman from Argao. Then Junjun should listen to the dragon lady from Dumanjug. She should pour out all her misgivings about the project. Then they should sleep on it and wait for the new board to review and deliberate on the matter. The new board should be mature enough to resolve this issue above partisan lines. The only criterion is what is best for the Cebuanos.

If I need to go to Noy Pabling P Garcia and to Chief Justice Jun Davide, and even the grand old man from the first district, Cong Eddiegul, to help untie this proverbial Georgian knot, I won't hesitate to do so. That is the least I can do to help. But who am I for them to listen to. I am just a voice crying in the wilderness.

HILARIO P DAVIDE III
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