Idiotic politics, anyone?
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - August 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Great achievements usually come from simple ideas. This statement isn’t new. It isn’t mine, either. In fact, it has been rephrased a thousand ways by many thinkers in diverse fields of discipline because it is valid timelessly.

I want to find out if it can apply to the new administration of Mayor Edgardo Labella, who just finished his first month as our local chief executive amidst what I can honestly describe as glowing reportage. In exploring this thought, I might step on some sensitive toes, (and this is highly probable) but this early, I must say in all candor that I don’t harbor any malice. I can be wrong in my appreciation of certain facts but such error is never founded on bias or prejudice.

First, let us consider that the initial base of the political campaign group supporting Labella came from the organization that worked for his election as vice mayor in 2013. This was Team Rama. It was also the same machinery that campaigned for his re-election in 2016, even if the head of the group himself, Atty. Michael Rama, lost to Tomas Osmeña. For purposes of the May 2019 elections, Labella sought the political mantle of President Rodrigo Duterte’s party, PDP-Laban. It was a master stroke to get the blessings of an immensely popular president. But, the party itself raided the cadre of Team Rama and no Team Labella could be launched in transition. Because there was no viably strong PDP-Laban in Cebu City, it had to get frontline leaders from among the Team Rama rank and file. So, those who manned the campaign headquarters of PDP-Laban like Atty. Joey Daluz, the reported campaign manager, were originally donning Rama colors.

Secondly, to give an aura of legitimacy to his group, Rama sought the recognition by the Commission on Elections. He succeeded in registering Partido Barug as a local political party under which Labella and teammates campaigned.

Third, Mayor Labella won. Naturally, the hordes of his campaigners thought they could seek employment at City Hall replacing those perceived to be BOPK supporters. Many of them do not want to accept the fact that not all of them can be accommodated, such that those who have not found work at City Hall as yet continue to linger in its premises.

Fourth, what Labella may have missed is that some, actually few, of his underlings don’t understand the ways of practical, although seemingly idiotic, politics. These subordinates are positioned in higher offices such that they now are the ones screening job applicants. Maybe because they themselves didn’t really know who his campaigners were, they tend to overlook the men and women who worked hard for Labella’s victory. Disappointment is written on their faces.

I will go back to my opening statement. May I suggest to the mayor to get his most experienced political comrade to sit with his human resource head and examine the personal data sheets of those still seeking to be employed? His ally knows supposedly his election frontmen and so he should be able to get the most loyal among them in the city workforce. Employing them should be the mayor’s way of thanking them and, more importantly, to keep them in harness for 2022. Idiotic politics? Yes.

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