No restoring a done deed
TO THE QUICK - Jerry S. Tundag (The Freeman) - July 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña is embroiled in another controversy over his old office at City Hall. His lawyers now want to sue the lawyers of the new mayor, Edgar Labella, for supposedly stopping restoration work to be done on said office after Osmeña caused it to be stripped of everything.

Losing to Labella must have been very hard for Osmeña to take. Seeing that he would soon be vacating that office, he had the wrecking crew of a construction company remove everything, from the ceiling to the flooring. When it was done, only the dusty air and the bad taste in everybody's mouth remained.

Pictures of the aftermath of one man's rage went viral, and if somebody suggested that Osmeña's grandfather Don Sergio, the former president and statesman, must have squirmed in his grave, that somebody would be believed even without a shred of proof. It was an act that made every Cebuano ashamed to be one.

Now comes the supposed bid to restore the office to what it was before the destruction. I have no problem with that. In fact, when the issue first broke, my position had been, and still is, not to sue Osmeña for his (mis)deed. Let the mental picture of what had been done stay forever etched in the minds of Cebuanos as a reminder of the importance of character in leaders.

Let the office be restored, as in truth and in fact, it will eventually have to be restored. It cannot forever stay as it is in its present state. Better have it restored now at Osmeña's expense than later, paid for by everyone else's taxes. Some say it is an afterthought of Osmeña. So what? To me it is still a good helping of humble pie for a man to whom humility sounds Greek.

This was not the first time Cebuanos got treated to a dose of Osmeña temper. Early in his political career, those old enough to remember will cringe at the thought of what he did to a vendor who made the mistake of selling barbecue on a sidewalk in barangay Lahug.

As an offshoot of his quarrel with leaders of neighboring Talisay City over rights to a portion of what is now the South Road Properties, Osmeña ordered the eviction of any vendor who was from Talisay City from any public market in Cebu City. He also shut the highway running through SRP from that city.

But the most infamous of all was when he barricaded the Osmeña Boulevard entrance to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in order to deprive sidewalk vendors of customers after these same vendors won a lawsuit against the city. Thankfully the barricade did not last long and people got back their right to worship the one true God, not one who mistakenly thinks he is even mightier.

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